John White Field (1815-1887)

John W. Field, of Philadelphia & Ashfield, Massachusetts

Associated Houses

1400 New Hampshire Avenue

Washington D.C.

He was the eldest of the eleven surviving children of Charles and Catherine (White) Field, of Rittenhouse Square. His father had been a mill owner at Chester in Delaware County before coming to Philadelphia where he became a leading broker selling sugar, molasses and coffee by the cargo. John was named for his maternal grandfather, U.S. Naval Surgeon Dr John White (1759-1838), who played an active role during the Revolution. John Field also became a merchant and lived in Europe for ten years. He and his wife were members of an international social set that included some of the most noted writers and artists on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 19th century. Some of his closest friends included Robert Browning, Charles Eliot Norton, James Russell Lowell, and the sculptor William Wetmore Story. The Fields were passionate collectors of art and acquired works by both European and American artists. Their portrait was painted in 1891 by John Singer Sargent. They retired to Washington D.C. and kept a country home at Ashfield, Massachusetts. They died without children.


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 15/03/2020 and last updated on 16/03/2020.