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Reynolds, Zachariah (c. 1790 – 1869)
Pennsylvania Folk Art Drawing of a Unicorn by Zachariah Reynolds, of Washington County, Pennsylvania, circa 1812-1814

The Unicorn Pen and ink and ink wash on paper, measuring 5 ½ x 4 3/8 inches, some toning, slight mat burn, the image is drawn on the back of a manuscript receipt, the receipt bears the signature of Benedict Reynolds, Zachariah’s father. A very nice, calligraphic, folk art image of a unicorn and a bird perched atop a curious structure.

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A very nice, calligraphic, folk art image of a unicorn and a bird perched atop a curious structure.

A brief synopsis of the life of Zachariah Reynolds and his family history is here reprinted from the History of Washington County.

“D. L. REYNOLDS, who owns 160 acres of fine land, is situated in South Strabane Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania, four and one-half miles east of Washington, was born in the old house which then stood on the present site of the barn, on this farm, December 31, 1828. His father was Zachariah and his paternal grandfather was Benedict Reynolds, while his mother was Mary Little and his maternal grandfather was Moses Little.

Benedict Reynolds was born in Maryland and from there he enlisted in the American Army. After serving for six months in the War of the Revolution, he reenlisted and took part in the battle of the Brandywine, and several others under the direct command of Gen. Washington, as well as in the battle of Cowpens. After the war he married Elizabeth Harmon and came to Washington County and settled in South Strabane Township. When he built his house he constructed it after the old Maryland plan, with the doors facing the east. He spent the rest of his life there, living to the age of ninety-seven years, and was buried in the cemetery on his own land.

Zachariah Reynolds was born in South Strabane Township and when he reached manhood married Mary Little. Her father was born in Ireland and came to America when a young man. After he had earned $ 100 by farm work in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, he came to Washington County and invested it in 100 acres of land in South Strabane Township, which he later sold to the Munce family. He married Margaret Locke, also a native of Ireland, they had four children: John, Mary, David and Moses.  To Zachariah and Mary (Little) Reynolds was born one son, D. L. The mother died when thirty years of age. Zachariah was subsequently married to Mary Huston, and they had three children: George, who lives in California; Mary, who is the wife of William Weir, residing on Morgan Avenue, Washington; and Seth H., who is a farmer in South Strabane Township.

Zachariah Reynolds was a man of natural talent, and was better educated than many men of his day, being particularly gifted as a penman. He did quite a large part of the drawing for the charts of the internal organs for Dr. Leatherman, of Houstonville, Pa., and his pen work was admired all over the county. He served as clerk in the Pittsburg post office, and in the prothonotary’s and treasurer’s offices (1838-1841) at Washington. He lived into his seventy-ninth year. His burial was first by the side of his wife in the home cemetery, but later D. L. Reynolds had the bodies of his parents removed and interred anew in the Washington Cemetery. His second wife survived him and died when aged 84 years…” – History of Washington County, pp., 1289-1290


Source: McFarland, Joseph F., 20th Century History of the City of Washington and Washington County, Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens