The “Irish Beauty”

Colonel Walter Stewart, an Irish-born Pennsylvania officer, commissioned this portrait following his wedding in 1781. Stewart immigrated to Philadelphia in 1776 from Derry, Ireland, and joined the Continental Army. The ladies of Philadelphia admired his handsomeness and called Stewart the “Irish Beauty." Colonel Stewart led his troops against Richard Mansergh St. George and the British light infantry at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown. In 1779, Stewart joined the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, a Philadelphia society that formed in 1771 to aid Irish immigrants in America.

Walter Stewart
Painted by Charles Willson Peale
Oil on Canvas
Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Robert L. McNeil, Jr., B.S. 1936