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John G. Chaplin ~ November 30, 1828 - January 5, 1907

My name is John G. Chaplin. I was born on November 30, 1828 and died on January 5, 1907.

From the time I was a young boy, I knew that when I grew up I would be a barber. That's what my father was and it was one of the few businesses available for men of color.

When I was born in 1828 in Huntingdon, my family was already well established in the area. Maybe I started my art career with doodles in the classroom or maybe I began sketching the landscapes around my home and my father's business, "The Temple of Fashion," on Allegheny Street. I don't remember.

I told people that I studied with Robert Douglass Jr., a renowned African American artist in Philadelphia, and that I studied in Dusseldorf, Germany. As I was a known teller of tall tales, these were widely disbelieved, but many experts who have examined my works agree that I had some formal fine arts training. 

People may have joked and called me "The Professor" or "John DeChapelini," but that didn't stop them from calling me to paint their portraits or buying my works.

I took over the Temple of Fashion and worked as an artist at the same time until I decided to move to Ohio to live near my brother, Levi. In Ohio, I took an interest in politics and started working with what is now the NAACP, even while I kept on barbering and painting. 

In death, I returned home to rest among my family members and the town in which some of my paintings are still displayed.

Riverview Recollections
  1. Introduction
  2. Suzanna Eisenberg ~ August 13, 1783 - May 3, 1822
  3. David McMurtrie ~ January 14, 1764 - November 9, 1843
  4. William Steel ~ 1754 - May 12, 1840
  5. Samuel Steel ~ 1765 - 1850
  6. Reverend John Johnston ~ 1750 - December 16, 1823
  7. Benjamin Elliot ~ 1752 - March 13, 1835
  8. Richard Smith ~ January 25, 1769 - October 1, 1823
  9. Thomas Duncan Smith ~ November 18, 1760 - July 9, 1789
  10. John Simpson ~ January 1744 - February 3, 1807
  11. John Dougherty ~ July 25, 1803 - November 12, 1886
  12. Anne Dorris Chisolm ~ 1863 - 1918
  13. J. Simpson Africa ~ September 15, 1832 - August 8, 1900
  14. Anna Fisher ~ March 6, 1866 - April 2, 1953
  15. Hon. John M. Bailey ~ July 11, 1839 - September 27, 1903
  16. J. C. Blair -Nov. 27, 1847- June 23, 1897, Kate Fisher Blair- July 7, 1848-Sept. 23, 1938
  17. Clara McMurtrie ~ February 7, 1860 - September 16, 1952
  18. Lt. Col. John Blanchard Miles ~ September 20, 1827 - May 10, 1864
  19. John G. Chaplin ~ November 30, 1828 - January 5, 1907
  20. Frederick Schneider ~ 1780 - March 31, 1861