Daguerreotype of Dr. John Thornley – Mexican War Veteran
Daguerreotype of Dr. John Thornley – Mexican War Veteran - This sixth plate daguerreotype surfaced a few months ago in a rural house in Virginia. It comes with corroborating information from the Albemarle County Historical Society (Virginia) indicating that this is indeed an image of Thornley. Dr. Thornley was born in King George County, Va. in 1816, the son of Major and Mrs. William Thornley. Major Thornley, John’s father, fought in the War of 1812 and died before John and his brother, James, completed their educations.
John Thornley attended the University of Virginia, during one session, about 1835 – 1836, then went to Jefferson College in Philadelphia, where he would receive his medical degree in surgery. James Thornley, John’s brother, would also study medicine. John Thornley entered the U.S. Navy in 1840, serving until 1861, retiring then and coming to Charlottesville, Va.
During Dr. Thornley’s years in the Navy, he participated in the Mexican War, and was on the flagship in the Gulf of Mexico, during the Siege of Vera Cruz. During his naval career, Thornley also served as the U.S. Navy’s Medical Director. Thornley lived until 1888.
This daguerreotype is housed in a half case and the plate is still sealed. It is in excellent shape, with a nice, clear, tinted image of Thornley as a relatively young man. SOLD