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James Armstrong Thome

James Armstrong Thome
Nathaniel Jocelyn, 1796 - 1881
James Armstrong Thome, 20 Jan 1813 - 4 Mar 1873
c. 1840
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 86.4 x 69.5cm (34 x 27 3/8")
Frame: 105.7 x 87.6 x 6cm (41 5/8 x 34 1/2 x 2 3/8")
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Printed Material\Book
Interior\Interior with Exterior View
James Armstrong Thome: Male
James Armstrong Thome: Literature\Writer
James Armstrong Thome: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Lecturer
James Armstrong Thome: Religion and Spirituality\Clergy\Pastor
James Armstrong Thome: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Augusta, Kentucky
Beginning in the 1830s, Presbyterian minister and abolitionist James A. Thome argued for the immediate and unconditional emancipation of enslaved people. Born to a family of enslavers, he became convinced of slavery’s immorality as a divinity student at Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. He denounced it in 1834 as “an outrage, a complication of crimes, and wrongs, and cruelties that make angels weep.” In 1836, the American Anti-Slavery Society sent Thome to observe the effects of recent emancipation in the British colonies of Antigua, Barbados, and Jamaica. He coauthored Emancipation in the West Indies (1838) to convince skeptics of its success.
Thome is portrayed here holding a copy of Theodore Dwight Weld’s American Slavery as It Is (1839). The book, to which Thome contributed primary research, presents eyewitness testimony detailing the appalling living conditions of enslaved people in the United States.
Nacido en Augusta, Kentucky
Desde la década de 1830, el abolicionista y ministro presbiteriano James A. Thome promovió la emancipación inmediata e incondicional de los esclavizados. De familia esclavista, se convenció de que dicha práctica era inmoral cuando estudiaba en el Seminario Teológico Lane en Cincinnati, Ohio. La denunció en 1834 como “una atrocidad, una complicación de crímenes, injusticias y crueldades que hacen llorar a los ángeles”. En 1836, la Sociedad Antiesclavista Americana lo envió a observar los efectos de la reciente emancipación en las colonias británicas de Antigua, Barbados y Jamaica. Para convencer a los escépticos del éxito de esta reforma, coescribió La emancipación en las Indias Occidentales (1838).
Thome aparece aquí con el libro La esclavitud americana tal como es (1839), de Theodore Dwight Weld, al cual aportó investigaciones. El libro presenta testimonios de las espantosas condiciones en que vivían las personas esclavizadas en este país.
Estate of Nellie Layman Clapp; (Lovatt’s Auction, Philadelphia), 1968 [as unidentified sitter, unidentified artist]; John C. Milley, Philadelphia; (Skinner, Inc., Boston, 2 November 1991); purchased NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 112