Caswell Family Photos

Photograph of a miniature thought to be Gov. Richard Caswell.


Courtesy of the NC Museum of History


"Letter of 2000 from the Smithsonian dating the photograph: A number of people here have taken a look at the image of the man said to be Richard Caswell and there is agreement that the costume depicted is later than 1770-1775--no earlier in fact.
Sincerely, Margaret Christman
Office of Painting & Sculpture
Room 306
National Portrait Gallery Washington, DC 20560
PH: 202-357-2686
Fax: 202-786-2565

Photo from an Unknown portrait of a prominent Mason. Original in St. John's Masonic Lodge in Kinston. Both the curator at Williamsburg and the Smithsonian date it as 1805-20. Candidates are Dallam Caswell (most likely), son of Gov. Caswell, or Francis Caswell, son of Martin Caswell, both Masons at the right time.

Email from Jo Huetti

"The man at the Scottish Rites Temple in New Bern made this copy on the copier.and I took a digital picture of the copy so that Keats could see what it looked like..of course the actual print is better as it looks like an old photograph...but we know they didn't have pictures at that point...I think that he probably had this done as a portrait and then someone made it into a photograph with the hard back cardboard backing. The actual portrait is in the vault room at the Scottish Rite Temple that is the same as this print and the frame that it is in is the same to the other portraits of the Grand Masters that they have there. "Jo Huetti

Email from Susan Hoffman: "My curator here at Colonial Williamsburg also dates this portrait to at the very earliest 1808 but more than likely to the 1810-1825 tops. I gave her the dates of the sons of RC and she thinks it could be Dallam as he was not only the last living son but he is the only one to live into the 1800's, also she thought he would be about the age she guesses the sitter to be. Susan Hoffman"


Response to inquiry by Clair Hadley

Cc: Shumard, Ann
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2007 1:39 PM
Subject: Richard Caswell
"Thank you for your request concerning a portrait thought to be Gov. Richard Caswell. Unfortunately, the man in your portrait is wearing clothes dating to 1805-1820. Our office has searched for possible portraits of Richard Caswell in the past and was unable to locate any. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance."


Linda Thrift, Administrator,

Center for Electronic Research and Outreach Services
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

William Paca

William Paca, 1740-1799 William Paca is the grandson of Richard Caswell, Sr.'s uncle, William Smith, and his wife Elizabeth Martin Dallam Smith, who is also the mother of Gov. Caswell's wife, Christian Dallam, by her first husband, Richard Dallam

He was born in Abingdon, Maryland from a family of ancient Italian ancestry[1], and home-schooled. He attended The College of Philadelphia (Now merged into and known as the University of Pennsylvania), graduating at age eighteen with a Masters degree. He studied law in Annapolis at a law office and obtained further training at the Inner Temple in London. He returned to begin the practice of law at Annapolis, Maryland in 1764.

Paca organized politically against a poll-tax imposed by the royal governor prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution and became a prominent leader in the patriot movement. He was elected to the Maryland legislature in 1771 and appointed to the Continental Congress in 1774. He was reelected, serving until 1779, when he became chief justice of the state of Maryland. In 1782 he was elected governor of Maryland. In 1789 he became federal district judge for the state of Maryland, and served as such until his death.

Paca died in 1799 at his estate of Wye Hall in Queen Anne's County, Maryland and was buried in the family cemetery there.



William Richard Caswell was a Major General for the Confederacy in Tennessee. He was the great grandson of Gov. Richard Caswell. William Richard Caswell (born 22 Oct 1809 d. Aug. 1862) was the son of Richard William Caswell and Sarah Lytle. Richard William was the only son of General William Caswell and Gathra McIlwean. General William Caswell (b. 24 Sept 1754, d. Jan, 1785) was the only surviving child of Gov. Richard Caswell's first marriage to Mary McIlwean.

William Richard Caswell attended Nashville University. He held the rank of Captain in the Mexican War. A lawyer by profession, he was appointed attorney general for the 12th Judicial Court of Tennessee in 1843, and attorney general for the 12th Solicitorial Court in 1849. Each appointment was for six years.

He was one of the early advocates of the Confederacy in Tennessee and was appointed a Brigadier General by Gov. Isham G. Harris, commanding Tennessee troops until they were turned over to the Confederate government. On 17 Nov.1847 he was commissioned as Major General of the 1st Division of the Tennessee Militia. Major General William Richard Caswell was murdered in August 1862, being found about a half mile from his home with his throat cut. Newspaper clippings indicate that the murderer was not known at the time and that blame was placed on a runaway slave and a group of unidentified men who supposedly ambushed him. He was 52 years old when he was killed.

At the time of his death, The Knoxville Register contained comments about General Caswell:

"One of the most universally esteemed and respected of our citizens. Perhaps no man who occupied as prominent a position as a public man ever enjoyed more personal popularity. Affable in his demeanor to everyone, kind and generous and upright, and just in all his transactions, it is remarkable that he should have an enemy so desperate a character as his slayer must have been".

This photograph and information was kindly sent me by Mae Caswell Hooten.



1846 ca 1920

Only son of Gen William Richard Caswell, gr gr grandson of Gov. Richard Caswell

William Caswell's father, General William Richard Caswell, was a man of prominence and wealth at the close of the Civil war. During the reconstruction period, when lawlessness was prevalent throughout this part of the south, General Caswell was shot from ambush while riding on horseback, attending to his duties on his plantation at Caswell, near Knoxville, Tennessee. William Caswell's mother Elizabeth Gillespie Caswell, was a member of one of East Tennessee's most prominent families. She was the aunt of Judge Hugh Lawson McClung, Mrs A. J_ Albers and the late Mrs T. S. Webb.

William Caswell was a Colonel in the military and always took great interest in military affairs. Colonel William Caswell was cousin of the late US Senator Robert Love Taylor, "the apostle of sunshine." Between Senator Taylor and Colonel Caswell there existed a great tie of friendship and affection. On several occasions while Senator Taylor was a candidate for Governor of Tennessee, Colonel Caswell accompanied him all over the state on his speech making tours. When Taylor was Governor, Colonel Caswell served on his staff and likewise on the staffs of Governor Rye and Governor Austin Peay.

Colonel Caswell established a furniture manufacturing plant, which in a few years was merged with the house-furnishing establishment of his father-in-law under the firm name of Boyd and Caswell in Knoxville, Tennessee. The large store and salesroom was on Gay Street and the northwest corner of Church Avenue. This was at that time one of the strongest firms in Knoxville and East Tennessee. When he retired from the furniture and house furnishing business, he entered the real estate business. He devoted his time to the development of properties and was owner of large holdings in North Knoxville. He also at that time acquired large grapefruit and orange groves near Fort Myers, Florida. He sold his grapefruit and orange groves, and also his winter home at Fort Myers, Florida, when the infirmities of age crept upon him and he realized that he would no longer be able to look after his varied interests.

Colonel Caswell and his wife enjoyed approximately 55 years of a happy married life, and had rarely been separated from each other, until her death. Colonel Caswell's health declined gradually after the death of his wife. A more devoted couple was rarely seen. Colonel Caswell was a retired capitalist and veteran of the civil war and died after a long illness at the age of 80.


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