Have you seen this painting?

Photograph of Preston Hamilton’s painting of a fire in New London in 1853.
Photograph of Preston Hamilton’s painting of a fire in New London in 1853. Courtesy Public Library of New London

The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is on the lookout for a missing historic painting and its members are seeking the public's help.

The painting by Preston Hamilton depicts the October 1853 fire that destroyed the First Methodist Church at the corner of Union and Methodist streets in New London. At the time, the church was T.M. Allyn's piano factory.

Hamilton, an organ builder by trade, witnessed the fire and captured the scene in a watercolor painting.

According to his obituary, Hamilton was born in Richmond, Va., in 1830, the son of an enslaved servant and a free mother. He arrived in New London when he was 10 years old at the request of his father.

The society is asking that anyone with information about the painting, Preston Hamilton or the fire to send an email to Connecticut SAR at info@connecticutsar.org or call (860) 916-1804.

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