National Society of Colonial Dames of
America in Tennessee

Portrait #1715
Sharpe, Benjamin
Date Created:ca. 1845
Owner/Location:Private Collection
Frame Dimensions:37 1/2 x 32 3/4
Image Dimensions:20 1/4 x 24 1/2
Materials/Media:Oil on canvas
Date Documented:October 2008

Description:Three-quarter left-profile portrait of Benjamin Sharpe. He is dressed in tightly tailored coat with shawl-collar, low-cut vest and high collar shirt with wide cravat, typical of mid-1840's gentlemen's style. His eyes are brown.
History of Work:This portrait was handed down from Benjamin Sharpe's widow, Ann Muirhead Sharpe Schott to their daughter, Mary Charlotte Sharpe Goodwin (Mrs. Allen Brooks Goodwin) to their daughter, Mary Charlotte Goodwin Young, (Mrs. Frederick Bradford Young), to their daughter, Dorothy Lee Young (Mrs. Howard Moore) to their daughter, Mary Charlotte Moore (Mrs. Joseph Price) to her brother, Hal Arch Moore, Sr., who is the present owner.

Copies of this portrait are also owned by Emily Jane Young Hartman (Mrs. Henry Carl Hartman) and Mary Charlotte Mehlenbacher Hall (Mrs. Kenneth Lee Hall) of Nashville and Hendersonville, respectively.
Notes:Benjamin Sharpe is buried at Nashville City Cemetery.



It may seem out of place at this late hour, to employ the pen of eulogy even upon the character and merits of one so estimable as the deceased friend and subject of these remarks. But justice to the memory of one, esteemed and beloved by all, will excuse the lateness of the hour in which a friend may recur to the scene of dissolution of spirit and body, that marked the Eternal destiny of an upright sojourner on earth. Allied by close native, local proximity, and subsequently, far from thence, by a friendly and familiar intercourse until the day of his lamented departure, to commemorate his worth, ‘tis but a tribute due to himself, and the many endearments, present and remote, which he was associated.

The subject of this imperfect encomium was born on the 21st of February 1800, in Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania. At the age of about twenty-five years he came to Nashville in the year 1825, where, as the result of exemplary deportment and correct business habits, he soon commanded the respect and confidence of all, and was soon entrusted with much of the interests of the opulent, influential and business portion of this community, to which a faithful devotion of his time and talent was unswervingly given. Affable and agreeable in his intercourse with all men, he was in the year 1842 elected one of the Justices of the Peace for Davidson county, the duties of which office he discharged to his own credit and the satisfaction and approval of all concerned. He was again re-elected in 1848 almost by acclamation, and a short time before the sad intelligence of his untimely end had reached the ears of his distressed family and many friends.

In the hour of earthly prosperity, prospects and usefulness, he has been stricken down by the fell hand of death, and his spirit has ascended to that “source from whence no traveller returns.” Truly are the ways of Providence inscrutable, and his works surpassing human comprehension. G.D.F.”


NOTE: The following entries appeared in days just prior to and following Benjamin Sharpe’s death:

‘The Nashville Union,’ March 2, 1848 listed Candidates for Office: Town: “Benjamin Sharpe is a candidate for the re-election of Justice of the Peace, in district No. 1 – which includes the Corporation of Nashville.”

‘The Dailey Union,’ on Tuesday, March 7, 1848, page 2, in a column with the heading: “Monday March 6, 1848” announced City Election results including “Sharpe” for “Justice of the Peace [District 1] 872 votes”. The Friday, March 24, 1848 ‘Politician and Weekly Nashville Whig’ printed the following notice on p. 812:

“Benj. Sharpe, Esq., a highly esteemed citizen of this place, was yesterday accidentally drowned, in the vicinity of town.”