Charles Brockden Brown, attributed to Ellen Sharples, after James Sharples Senior, circa 1810.
flipFlip to Sarah Josepha Hale, painted and engraved expressly for Godey’s Lady’s Book, circa 1850.

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Head and shoulders, pastel on paper.

Credit: Courtesy of the Independence National Historical Park.

America’s first great novelist, Philadelphian Charles Brockden Brown’s (1771-1810) books include Wieland (1798), based on grisly true cases of men who murdered their families, claiming that God ordered them to do so, and Arthur Mervyn (1799), which he set during the deadly Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic of 1793.

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