Deas was born in Scotland, the son of John and Elizabeth Allen Deas. He served as President of the Senate of South Carolina, 1828-1835, the period covering the nullification controversy. As Deas wears the robes of the President of the Senate, the miniature was probably painted between 18281835. Appropriately, it is very dignified, with Deas' white hair contrasting the somber green-gray background. The robes have been highlighted with a light gray wash.