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The committee roster betrayed the political nature of the inquiry; it included Charles Willson Peale and Timothy Matlack; David Rittenhouse, a renowned astronomer and mathematician serving as state treasurer; J. B. Smith, twice appointed to Congress by the radical Assembly; and Thomas Paine—all Continentalists.
The painter Charles Willson Peale was again the chairman; now he was joined by key state officials including President Joseph Reed, Chief Judge Thomas McKean, and Timothy Matlack, a disowned Quaker who had served for a time as assistant to Thomson in Congress but was now secretary to the Supreme Executive Council.
Charles Willson Peale (who had begun his formal study under Copley) was less accomplished, but his honest if crude coloring and stiff but dignified portraits of revolutionary officers (including many portraits of Washington) made him a great artistic celebrity of the day.