After Joseph H. Bush
American, 1794 – 1865
Portrait of Judge John Speed (1772 – 1840), about 1835
Watercolor on ivory
2 x 1 5/8 in. (5.1 x 4.1 cm.)
Gift of Robert Gordon Stewart 1977.13

A Lasting Friendship
These portrait miniatures show father and son, Judge John Speed and Joshua Fry Speed. The elder Speed owned a hemp plantation in Louisville and built an elegant Federal-style home, called  Farmington, located off Bardstown Road. Abraham Lincoln traveled to Farmington in 1841 to visit his closest friend, Joshua Fry Speed. The two met in Springfield, Illinois, in 1837, when Speed offered an impoverished young Lincoln a place to stay, a generous act that laid the foundation for a life-long friendship.