Before addressing the changing fortunes of Horatio Gates’s legal father, I thought I’d share visual evidence that might be pertinent to the general’s biological paternity.
You may have noticed that Gates had a long, curved nose. Indeed, it’s hard to miss that prominent facial feature in these portraits of him by Rembrandt Peale (left) and Gilbert Stuart (right).
Here are close-ups of portraits of the three paternity candidates I discussed yesterday: from left to right, Baron Horatio Walpole; his brother, prime minister Sir Robert Walpole; and Peregrine Osborne, the second Duke of Leeds.
The Walpole brothers look a lot alike, and the duke’s nose is the longest of the bunch. But I don’t think any of these gentlemen look strikingly like Gates. And to my knowledge, no one at the time claimed to see any physical resemblance, either.