Portrait and miniature painter and maker of nautical instruments, Samuel King was born in Newport, Rhode Island around 1748. King’s father, Benjamin, made and repaired mathematical and navigational instruments at the sign of the quadrant at the corner of Thames and Pelham Streets. Samuel King spent the majority of his life in Newport, except for a brief period in Salem, Massachusetts in 1771-72. At various times King worked as a house painter, decorator of carriages, engraver, and copyist, and though sought-after locally as a portraitist, King was unable to support himself wholly by his art, and continued his father’s business after the elder King’s death. One of Samuel King’s first portraits, painted in 1770-71, was of the Reverend Ezra Stiles, the minister who performed Samuel’s wedding ceremony to Amy Vernon, and future president of Yale College. Throughout his intermittent career, King painted both portraits in oil and miniatures on ivory. He rented John Smibert’s Boston studio after the artist’s death. King gave drawing and painting lessons to Gilbert Stuart, Edward Greene Malbone, Anne Hall, Washington Allson, and Charles Bird King. He died in Newport in 1819.