Monkeys in Connecticut


What’s the monkey doing in this picture? When I started working on a talk about nineteenth-century prints of monkeys by Hartford’s Kellogg brothers, I was surprised to find that most of the monkeys in these pictures were domestic pets. Monkeys were often featured in the traveling menageries that toured Connecticut during the first half of the nineteenth century. Sailors sometimes brought monkeys home from long voyages, and some people kept them as pets. But they were always rare and exotic, never common, like cats and dogs, or even parrots. Most people in nineteenth century Connecticut would known about monkeys chiefly from books: travel books, natural histories, and books of fables. People were interested in monkeys and found them entertaining because their antics recalled men in miniature. This monkey is dexterously using his fingers—which appear remarkably human—to remove fleas from a plump kitten. Though the picture in which he appears was printed and published and sold in Hartford, Connecticut in the 1830s, this particular monkey probably never visited the state. D.W. Kellogg’s print is based on a composition by the British artist J. M. Burbank. Burbank’s monkey and cat, assuming they actually existed at all, probably belonged to a family in England.

French Influences

Why would a firm in Hartford, Connecticut issue a print showing the French Emperor Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo? Because a French lithographer was working for that firm and would continue to work for them for more than thirty years. However, there must have been a market for such prints, because the Kelloggs issued many of them, especially during the 1830s and 1840s. Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, which took place on June 18, 1815. Joseph Buat emigrated to America following the restoration of the French monarchy in the 1820s and eventually went to work for Daniel Wright Kellogg and his brothers Edmund Burke Kellogg and Elijah Chapman Kellogg. The fall of the French emperor probably helped to bring a talented craftsman to Hartford.


Big Berries and Lots of Them!

“Hale Brothers, South Glastonbury, Conn., have printed 25,000 of this Catalogue, and will print an extra edition if necessary, so that all may learn of the wonderful productiveness of THE MANCHESTER Strawberry… Anyone who wants BIG BERRIES will receive our catalogue free, also a beautifully colored plate showing one foot of a row of the Manchester Strawberry in full fruiting, on our grounds, with berries of all sizes, ripe and half ripe, AND LOTS OF THEM.”

Advertising hype is nothing new. In 1883, Hale Brothers gave away copies of The Manchester Strawberry, a chromolithograph by the Kellogg & Bulkeley Company of Hartford, in an attempt to entice people to buy strawberry plants. It certainly makes me want to run out and buy some. To view more prints from the CHS Kellogg collection, visit our online catalog.


Justice to Ireland

One of my favorite things in the Graphics Collection at the Connecticut Historical Society is an 1866 hand-colored lithograph by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg of Hartford entitled “Justice to Ireland.”  It shows an allegorical figure of a woman personifying Ireland wielding a sword and waving the Fenian banner, while trampling on the prostrate body of a man in armor wearing a crown, presumably representing the British king.  It’s unlikely that the Kellogg brothers were proponents of Irish independence, but they certainly anticipated a ready market for patriotic Irish prints among the many Irish emigrants who came to the United States during the second quarter of the nineteenth century.  To find out more about Irish subjects by the Kellogg firm, go to