Historical Figures

John Pratt (1753-1824)

Captain John Pratt was a Hartford native, the son of Zachariah and Abigail (Cook) Pratt. During the American Revolutionary War, he served as assistant commissary general under James Clinton, and continued to pursue a military career after the end of the war. He fought in the Ohio Indian Wars in Ohio (also known as the Northwest Indian War). In 1791, President George Washington appointed him a captain of the First Regiment of the United States Army. In this role, Pratt was ordered by General Henry Knox to head the Army recruiting service in the state of Connecticut, with "the principle rendezvous...at Middletown."

Due to his new assignment, Pratt settled in Middletown in 1792 where he purchased a farm. He married Elizabeth Cooper of Middletown in 1795 and served as a magistrate and a representative in the State Legislature. Pratt was also an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati, organized in 1783, prior to the disbanding of the Revolutionary armies. He commissioned Ralph Earl to paint his portrait in 1792.

Drawn from

  • DMA Acquisition proposal, May 1990.
  • William Newell Hosley, The Great River: Art and Society of the Connecticut Valley, 1635-1820. (Hartford, CT: Wadsworth Atheneum, 1985), 156.

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