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John Wells Stancliff
John Stancliff
American, 1813 - 1891
Biography: John Wells Stancliff (1813-1891) was a Portland, Connecticut, native who spent most of his career in the then-new high tech filed of telegraphy. He worked in Hartford between 1856-1868, and is said to have been the city's first telegraph operator. He later became superintendent of American Telegraph Company operations in Hartford. Upon his retirement, Stancliff took up painting, specializing in marine themes. It is possible that he had previously studied with Frederick Stiles Jewett, a well-known marine and landscape painter in Hartford. In 1872, he was apparently involved in organizing the Connecticut School of Design (successor to the Hartford Art Association). City Directory entries and Stancliff's obituary notice described him as a "marine painter."