5. Samuel Morse, Inventor, Made a Painting Of Marquis de Lafayette in the City Council Chamber

The portrait of Lafayette is on the right wall, closest to the balcony

Samuel Morse, better known as the inventor, was also a fine arts painter and was a founder of the National Academy of Design, where he served as president. In 1825, he was offered the commission by the Common Council to paint the Marquis de Lafayette, in celebration of Lafayette’s year long visit the United States for the 50th Anniversary of the American Revolution. Lafayette was then, the only surviving general of the war. As a passionate American nationalist, this “was likely the pinnacle of [Morse’s] career,” writes Barbara Maranzani for History.