Mr. Newman of Newtown Hook was an officer in the Seminole Wars; it has been suggested that the background seen in this painting illustrates this war.
John Bradley was an itinerant portrait painter working between 1830-1840 in the New York-Connecticut area. This painting is included in a list of his works compiled by Mary Childs Black, "Drawn by I. Bradley from Great Britton," National Gallery of Canada Bulletin vol. IV, no. 2 (1966). In her article, Mary Black dates this painting to 1836.