Collection on William Hendricks portrait
March 1922, undated
1 folder

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Processed by: Christina Baich, February 2006

Biographical and Historical Note:

William Hendricks was born on November 12, 1872, in Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. In 1813, Hendricks moved to Madison, Indiana Territory. He was elected to the territorial legislature in 1813 and 1814. He served as Secretary at Indiana’s 1816 Constitutional Convention. When Indiana became a state, Hendricks was elected to U.S. House of Representatives. He resigned during his fourth term to become Governor of Indiana. He held this post from 1822 until 1825 when he resigned to become a U.S. Senator. Hendricks served in the U.S. Senate from 1825 to 1837. After failing to win reelection, he returned to the practice of law in Madison, Indiana. He died on May 16, 1850.

Governor Conrad Baker began the task of collecting portraits of Indiana governors in 1869. He had difficulty obtaining a portrait of William Hendricks due to Hendricks’ reluctance to pose for artists. R. H. Buckley painted the first portrait of Hendricks in 1870. Three years later, Governor Thomas A. Hendricks, William’s nephew, had the portrait removed because he felt it was a poor likeness. For the next fifty years, there was no portrait of William Hendricks. In 1919, H. J. Gensler discovered William Hendricks among the U.S. Representatives portrayed in a painting by Samuel F. B. Morse. Hendricks, however, was so ill defined in the painting that finding someone to paint a portrait from the likeness was difficult. In 1925, thanks to the efforts of the Indiana Historical Bureau and U.S. Representative Merrill Moores, Samuel Burtis Baker was commissioned to create a portrait of William Hendricks based on the Morse painting. The resulting portrait is atypical of the other governors’ portraits because of its impressionistic quality.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. 3 Feb. 2006. <>.

Peat, Wilbur D. Portraits and Painters of the Governors of Indiana, 1800-1978. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society and Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1978.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection contains letters regarding the finding of pictures of William Hendricks and the possibility of having a portrait created by Edward L. Morse from a portrait of members of the House of Representatives by his father, Samuel F. B. Morse.

Item Listing:

1922 Mar. 13 Moores, Merrill to George S. Cottman, TLS
1922 Mar. 16 Moores, Merrill to George S. Cottman, TLS with enclosed letter from Edward L. Morse to Moores, TL and envelope
undated Notes on portrait with references to newspaper articles

Collection Information:

Size of Collection:

1 folder (4 items)

Collection Dates:

March 1922, undated



Access: This collection is open for research.



Reproduction Rights:

Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library.  Possession of a reproduction from an Indiana State Library collection does not constitute permission for use.

Language Materials are entirely in English

Alternate Formats:


Related Holdings:

S636, William Hendricks letters and abstract of titles



Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.