Polk used his uncle Charles Willson Peale's so-called Convention portrait as the basis for this image; Peale painted the original portrait from life at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Polk portrayed Washington numerous times from various sources but never from life. In 1790 Polk wrote to Washington requesting a sitting and stating that he had executed fifty portraits of him during the previous year.
Dr. Minturn Post, New York, died 1869; his granddaughter, Helen Minturn Post, New York, ca. 1900–1923; possibly sale, Plaza Art Galleries, New York, 1923; with Robert W. de Forest, 1923; Charles Allen Munn, West Orange, New Jersey, by 1924