John Blake

Artist: Benbridge, Henry
Date: c. 1775

The son of Revolutionary naval hero Edward Blake and his wife Jane Savage, John Blake (1752-1810) was a merchant in partnership with his father importing slaves to Charleston. He inherited the Bluff Plantation on Wappoo Creek near Charleston. Blake served as a lieutenant in the Second South Carolina Regiment and was one of the Continental soldiers captured by British forces on 12 May 1780, during the attack on Charleston. He was sent to St. Augustine, Florida, on the prison ship Torbay, and acted as spokesman for the prisoners of war to obtain necessary supplies which were paid for by the familes of the prisoners. After his release, Blake was again imprisoned, this time on the British schooner Pack Horse, and his family was banished from Charleston for refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the British crown.

"After the Revolutionary War, Blake was elected to the South Carolina General Assembly and was the first president of the State Bank in Charleston. His gravestone at the family cemetary at the Bluff is inscribed, 'Sacred/to the memory of/John Blake, Esq.who died on the 2d. of July 1810/ aged 58 years/ A Patriot of the American Revolution/ and a Brave active and skillful officer.'"


This text is adapted from " Henry Benbridge: Charleston Portrait Painter (1743-1812)" exhibition catalog published by Carolina Art Association/Gibbes Museum of Art, 2000

  • Artist's Dates: 1743 - 1812
  • Artist's Nationality: American
  • Medium: Watercolor
  • Support: Ivory
  • Dimensions: 1 3/8 X 1 1/8
  • Credit: Gift of Lewis deVeaux Blake III, Ann Blake Furr, and Alice Blake Pearce in loving memory of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis deVeaux Blake, Jr., great, great grandson of John Blake
  • Period: 18th century
  • Accession Number: 2011.006
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