The Complete Works
(March 1, 1828 - December 4, 1887)
Alonzo Chappel (March 1, 1828 - December 4, 1887) was born in New York City on March 1, 1828 to William P. and Maria Howes Chappel. The family resided at 165 The Bowery in lower Manhattan on property owned by Chappel's grandparents opposite the Old Bowery Theater.
William Chappel (1801-1878), a tinsmith of Huguenot descent, was a man of moderate means and unable to provide an extensive education for his two sons, Alonzo and George. However, from all indications he and Maria encouraged Alonzo's early efforts at portrait painting; at the age of nine, Alonzo reportedly contributed a portrait titled "The Father of His Country" to the American Institute Fair; by the age of twelve, he was regularly setting up his easel on the sidewalks of New York and charging $5.00 or $10.00 to execute a portrait of any willing passerby.