New Castle, Delaware
Community History and Archaeology Program 
James McCallmont

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James McCallmont   (1755-1824)

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Title/OccupationPhysician/Ferry monopoly
Trustee NCC
Address56 The Strand
ArtistCharles St.-Memin, Thomas Sully
Date painted
CreditFrick Art Reference Library
MarriedMary Monro; Martha McMullan (c1755-1813)
ParentsJohn McCallmont & Sarah Latimer
ChildrenMaria (m Kensey Johns Jr.)

Saint-Memin created lifelike profile portraits using a mechanical apparatus, the "physiognotrace".

A conventional oil portrait may have been painted by Thomas Sully, but it has not been located or confirmed that the sitter was James McCallmont. Thomas Sully's Register of Portratis lists item 1091 as "Mr. McCallmont, Kit Kat, 1812. A Kit Kat is a half length portrait, with hands, popularized by Sir Godfrey Kellner Most of Sully's portraits appear to be Kit Kats. With just the name "Mr. McCallmont", no provenance and no information as to location, the identification of the Sully subject as James McCallmont, M.D. is certainly conjectural. "Portrait begun Feb. 6th, 1812, finished March I4th, 1812. Size 29" X 36". Price, $100.00"

In the 1815 tax records, James McCallmont was the fourth wealthiest individual in New Castle out of about 200 taxable residents.

Dr. McCallmont was one of the cofounders of the Medical Society of Delaware and a Trustee of New Castle Common, Trustee New Castle Academy, and Union Fire Co..

Eckman states that McCallmont & heirs had exclusive ferry privileges to NJ from 1801 to 1853.

From Scharf Dr. James McCallmont, a charter member of the Medical Society, was born of Welsh-Irish ancestry at Newport in 1755. At twenty-two years of age, after finishing his medical training under Dr. Matthew Wilson of Lewes, he became a surgeon in the United States navy and in 1777 took part in a general engagement near Long Island. Later, the same year, his ship was boarded by a Spanish privateer but his life, with that of a young brother, was saved by his giving the Masonic sign to the Spanish officer just as they were about ?to walk the plank!" Both were then taken to a Spanish prison in the West Indies, whence they were released finally through the influence of the United States consul. After leaving the navy he practiced in New Castle until his death in 1824.

Jim Meek
nc-chap.org 2014, 2015