In 1827, artist Julian Parisen completed a pair of life-size paintings: one of a Norwich cadet, and one of a girl who could be his sister, or his wife. Their arrival at Norwich was years in the making and the result of a diligent team effort to bring them home.

The mysterious identity of the cadet portrait led the staff of the Sullivan Museum and History Center to Middletown, Conn., Providence, R.I., Yale, and Harvard, to identify the young man who attended Captain Partridge’s American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy in Middletown between 1825 and 1828. More than 350 cadets were enrolled during the period these paintings were done, when Partridge was trying to relocate the academy to Connecticut. Who is this cadet? The mystery persists.

The Sullivan Museum and History Center has acquired these two paintings to commemorate the university’s 2019 bicentennial. Homecoming 2017 marked their unveiling.

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