I'm studying Thomas Cole's "Course of Empire" paintings, but despite what is implied through the artwork itself, I cannot find any references from Cole himself regarding his political motivations.

For example, this article essentially implies that he "harbored deep suspicions of democratic virtue." I can understand why that conclusion is drawn, but cannot find actual source material where Cole makes these claims.

And if he never did, is it theoretically ok from a historical perspective to make assumptions such as that, based on his artwork alone and the frame of reference to the era he was active?

  • Are you looking for this? Essay on American Scenery by Thomas Cole - American Monthly Magazine 1 (January 1836) – J Asia Aug 16 '17 at 5:43
  • Interesting, though doesn't contain overt references to political leaning, despite some comments adoring freedom. I'm more or less looking for any mention Cole had towards politics, either contemporary or generalized - for instance, this page - explorethomascole.org/coles_circle - states that Cole "bitterly opposed.. [the] expansionist, utilitarian, and democratic policies... of Jacksonian America." I cannot find a source from Cole himself substantiating any of these claimed political persuasions, however, besides what is implied through his paintings. – DudeDudeDude Aug 16 '17 at 5:51

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