When discussing the work of John Bull and how very different it is and how this may be because unlike other carvers he traveled as a sailor and clearly saw many different cultures, but which? I thought I might Find out where the major trade roughs running out of Newport when he lived and therefor what possible places Bull might have been. Such as did he see the Sistine chapel himself or was that just from the new books and did he go to Africa and where else ? Can many if any similaritys be seem in his work and the art of the places ships whent? I found that he is likly to have traveled beteewn the years of 1753 and 1764some of the destinations for ships from newport during these times were Spain, Russia, Ireland,Dominica,Portugal,Soulth America and all of the west cost of Africa.(1) Hardly a short list however intestingly no ships whent to the Orient at that time.
John Bull is remembered by his son Henry Bull the 4th As about 5ft 9 in or 5ft 10 in , light complexion. and light blue eyes, of a hardy and robust constution , and, though good looking was not so handsome as his father in his temper he was quick but not vengeful, his judgment of men and things was sound and comprehensive.
His natural talents were of the frist drder, though not much refinded by education; he retained much of the sailor manners which he had acquired in nautical life, but was always repsected and ofton courted by those of the first cicles of socity. ( 2). Jonh Bull was the son of Henry and Phoebe Bull he resived a common school education,
by the time he was old eough to work his father was too advanced in age and redused.
in circumstance to continue supporting them. So john was sent to work as an aprentence to Willam Stephens who had married Johns sister Ann. he was train as a stone carver by Willam as well as working part time in an grocery store also kept by the Stephens.
He was there only a short time being dissatisfied with work he ran away and was secrety shipped on board a vessel bound on a forein voyage
He continued sailing until he was ether 28 or 30, all that is really known from this time is that he was a privateer in the French war and became a prizmaster and brought in a valuable prize taken from the Fench. he later settled in Newport where he worked as a craver a suport his parents who had become very stressed in curcumestane there ofre needing to live with him. He married Ruth Cornell, daughter of George Cornell a reputable farmer of Middletown they were wed August 18th 1769. They had four children the last of wich was Henry Bull the 4th. Johns father died on December 24th 1774 but before he passed on he was convinsed by his daughter Phoebe to change the will making her the executor. Jonh constiered himself griefisly insulted by this, thus causing a rift between him and his sister that was never resolved.
One of the main pionts of the wiil being the Phoebe gained control of there fathers estate.
He was a Whig During the revolution, for wich he was imprisoned with many others on board the Lord Sandwich prison ship for about six weeks. this was due to his out spoken patriotism in favor of Britian One instance of this is when he helped the armorer of the king to hide the kings tools in his possesion in a hole dug in bulls fathers basement, the day befor the armoer defected to the American army. A british general seached for the tools in most of the houses in Newport but luckly they were not found. After the evacuation of the town by the british army the tolls were returned to armoer and used for the american cause. when the town was occupied by the British army the Bull estate was used to quarter soilders forcing bulls sister out.
But when sprting came the soilders moved to camp .