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Historical Materials

Historical Materials  »  People  »  Somes, Capt. John

People

Somes, Capt. John

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John Somes was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1745 and served as a privateer during the Revolution. Following the War, Somes was appointed the first president of the Gloucester Bank (founded in 1786) and a state representative. He and Anna Dolliver were married in 1780. 

map
1834–35 Mason Map: Gloucester Harbor (detail 1)
John Mason
1834–35
Lithograph
24 x 38 in.
Gloucester City Archives

"Drawn on a scale of one hundred feet to an inch. By John Mason 1834–45 from Actual Survey showing every Lott and building then standing on them giving the actual size of the buildings and width of the streets from the Canal to the head of the Harbour & part of Eastern point as farr as Smith's Cove and the Shore of the same with all the wharfs then in use. Gloucester Harbor 1834–35." 

This map shows the location of F. E. Low's wharf and the ropewalk. Duncan's Point, the site where Lane would eventually build his studio, is also marked.

The later notes on the map are believed to be by Mason.

artwork
Portrait of Captain John Somes
Benjamin Blyth
c.1780
Pastel and paper mounted on canvas
Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Josephine Dolliver, 1959 (1596)

Benjamin Blyth was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1746, and was one of the best known and most successful portraitists on the North Shore during the late eighteenth century. In the years immediately before and after the American Revolution, Blyth found a ready clientele amongst wealthy ship owners and merchants and his depictions of Gloucester resident Captain John Somes is typical of his work.

Blyth’s rendering of Somes—shown in a dark jacket with large buttons and a lacy white shirt with a high collar—descended through the Dolliver family. Sometime during the first half of the nineteenth century, artist Fitz Henry Lane painted a copy of Blyth’s portrait of Captain Somes, the whereabouts of which is unknown.

Citation: "Historical Materials." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/historical_material/index.php?section=Somes%2C+Capt.+John (accessed April 23, 2017).
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