The founding fathers were America’s role models. The framing of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War that confirmed separation from Great Britain, and the Constitution that established a new form of government, were the work of men whose images and deeds were enshrined in the American pantheon of heroes.  George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and first president of the United States, assumed in his lifetime the status of an icon. Washington’s portrait was the centerpiece of an emblematic representation of the new nation that was designed and engraved by Amos Doolittle in 1794. Entitled A Display of the United States of America, the arrangement of linked circles encloses the shields of the thirteen original colonies with the great seal of the United States at top center. This chain of unity surrounds a profile portrait of Washington, described as “President of the United States of America. The Protector of his Country, and the Supporter of the rights of Mankind.” [Washington portrait] In 1803, Doolittle modified his design, arranging the state seals in blocks, to create a New Display of the United States framing a portrait of John Adams, the second president.

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