Pastel and charcoal drawing on paper,c. 1860
by Larkin Goldsmith Mead

William Czar Bradley (1782-1867) was the son of politician Stephen Row Bradley, Vermont's first U.S. senator. He was born in Westminster and died there. From a young age Bradley was known for his literary talent and he began attending Yale at age 13. He was expelled that first year for a prank and eventually began the study of law, which became his lifelong occupation. Daniel Webster claimed he had one of the best minds in the country. Bradley was elected to Congress in 1812, 1822, and 1824. He considered the five years he spent from 1814 until 1819 settling the northern boundary dispute between the U.S. and Canada his greatest public service. He also was the perennial Democratic candidate for Vermont governor running and losing in 1830, and 1834 through 1838; as a Free Soil candidate in 1848; and finally on the Fremont ticket in 1856. Bradley's Westminster home was known for its conservatory of beautiful flowers and its gracious and lively hospitality. On the same grounds was a small building from which Bradley conducted a law school.

Bradley Bust PhotoMarble bust, c. 1860
by Larkin Goldsmith Mead

Larkin Goldsmith Mead (1835-1910) was born in Brattleboro. He studied sculpture with Henry Kirk Brown in New York City for two years during the early 1850s. His two most famous Vermont pieces are Ceres, a wooden sculpture that was placed on the dome of the State House in 1857, and a marble likeness of Ethan Allen carved in 1861 that was placed inside the capitol building. This drawing and bust of Bradley were completed between these two commissions. In 1862 Mead went to Italy where he was to remain for the rest of his life except for occasional visits to the United States. Considered one of America's finest sculptors, he died in Florence.