• The author examines the contribution of illustrated editions of Susannah Rowson’s 1791 novel ‘Charlotte Temple’ to the novel’s curious afterlife. Reprinted in Philadelphia in 1794, ‘Charlotte Temple’ became the object of a readerly cult that inspired visits to a gravesite in Trinity Churchyard as well as intimate engagements with the material object of the book itself. Through the author’s analysis of portraits and tableaux illustrations that appeared in the novel between 1809 and 1905, along with evidence of readers’ devotional interactions with the portraits, the author traces the integration of ‘Charlotte Temple’ into the American national story as one of the best-loved icons of the Revolution.