Daniel Hendrickson of Middletown, New Jersey: An Eighteenth-Century Farmer, Entrepreneur, and Artist in the Limner Tradition
In every generation there are individuals who succeed in a wide variety of activities that are seemingly unrelated to each other. Today we might describe them as overachievers, or perhaps some sort of so-called Renaissance personality endowed with a Midas touch. Daniel Hendrickson, an eighteenth-century entrepreneur from Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey, was just such a person. He engaged in farming, coastwise shipping, milling, distilling, and many other business endeavors. He also became an author in print, a musician, a deacon in the Reformed Dutch Church, and a very versatile artist in the limner tradition, which by definition means an early painter with little or no formal training. This essay touches on the many aspects of Hendrickson’s extraordinary life, then focuses primarily on his artistic career.
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