Debrett's on Presidents: Jefferson, Adams, Whatever
Jan. 23, 1989
NEW YORK (AP) _ When it comes to the collateral relatives of the 14th Earl of Meath or the coat of arms of the 17th Duke of Norfolk, Debrett's of London has no peer.
But the experts on British nobility apparently are not as familiar with U.S. presidents.
In the English publisher's new venture into Americana, ''Debrett's Presidents of the United States of America,'' a full-page color reproduction of Rembrandt Peale's famous 1805 portrait of Thomas Jefferson is labeled as a portrait of his predecessor, John Adams.
No one would suggest that all Americans look alike to the British, but the book's facing page does show a painting in which Adams, Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are shown drafting the Declaration of Independence.
Although Jefferson is three decades younger than in the Peale portrait, his jutting chin and flowing hair make him hard to confuse with Adams, notable for his receding hairline and long sideburns.
The book's American publisher is Salem House of Topsfield, Mass. Roberta Scimone, a spokeswoman, said the mistake was made by the British publisher, Webb and Bower. She said it would be corrected in any future editions.