The History of the Seal of the United States

By United States. Dept. Of State | Go to book overview

III
WILLIAM BARTON'S DESIGNS

The report of the Lovell committee met with the same fate as the report of the first committee. It was recommitted, and nothing further was done until May, 1782, when Arthur Middleton of South Carolina, Elias Boudinot of New Jersey, and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina were appointed a committee to design a seal. The two South Carolinians were men of foreign education, and a cultivated gentleman in those days usually had some knowledge of heraldry. Boudinot had an interest in coins and medals, it is presumed, as he was appointed Director of the Mint at Philadelphia in 1795. This committee did no independent labor of a serious character, but called into consultation William Barton, A. M., a private citizen of Philadelphia. He was the son of Rev. Thomas Barton, rector of St. James Episcopal Church, his mother being a sister of the famous David Rittenhouse,* and in 1813 he published a memoir of Rittenhouse. He was also the author of a monograph on the nature and use of Paper Credit, etc. ( Philadelphia, 1781). The reasons which prompted

____________________
*
Pennsylvania Magazine, X, 414.

-23-

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The History of the Seal of the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 3
  • I - The First Device 7
  • II - The Lovell Committee 18
  • III - William Barton's Designs 23
  • IV - The Secretarys Device 33
  • V - The Arms Adopted 41
  • VI - The Illegal Seal 48
  • VII - The Third Seal 53
  • VIII - The Fourth Seal 63
  • IX - Uses of the Seal 65
  • Glossary of Heraldic Terms. 69
  • Index 71
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