CDV of Last Surviving Revolutionary War Soldier, John Kitts

CDV studio portrait. John Kitts, Aged 108 Years. The Last Revolutionary Soldier. Norval H. Busey: Baltimore, 1869. 46 N. Charles St. imprints to recto and verso. Ink inscription on verso: "1869 / Baltimore USA." Kitts (1762-September 1870) is seated wearing 18th-century dress with a ruffled shirt, a wide-cuffed jacket, and a worn tricorn hat. A pocket watch is draped around his neck and he holds a cane. 

This is possibly the same John Kitts who appears in an affidavit from 1782 in Thomas Dring's Recollections of the Prison Ship. This Kitts identified himself as "last mate of the sloop industry, commanded by Robert Harris." Though he is acknowledged as the last living soldier of the Revolutionary War, he was denied a pension. In 1869, he had sought help locally, the New Hampshire Sentinel reporting: "John Kitts, aged 107, has presented a petition to the Baltimore City council for aid for services rendered in the Revolutionary war and in 1812."  His claim was filed in 1870 with the House of Representatives but was tabled with no further action. He was able to visit the House of Representatives on February 10, 1870, and given a tour by Massachusetts representative and Union General Nathaniel Banks and was granted rare floor privileges. 

Very scarce, no other copies of this image appear to be known. Published in Taylor, Maureen. The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation. pp.90-1

Estimate: $700 - $900
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