Eustis Estate

Captain Isaac Manchester (1769–1860)

Cephas Thompson (1775–1856)
Bristol, Rhode Island, 1806–07
Oil on canvas
30 7/8 x 25 5/8 in.
Bequest of Evelyn A. Munroe, the sitter’s

Isaac Manchester of Bristol, Rhode Island, made a fortune as a ship captain engaged in the slave trade. Here, artist Cephas Thompson captures the harsh character distinctive of those engaged in the business of capturing and selling people, particularly slave ship captains. After federal prohibition of transcontinental human trafficking was enacted in 1808, economic depression hit towns like Bristol that were heavily invested in buying and selling people. Ultimately, Manchester was ruined and died in poverty.