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Maker(s):Bakewell, Elizabeth (publisher)
Culture:English (active 1749-1770)
Title:The Brave Old Hendrick the Great Sachem or Chief of the Mohawk Indians. One of the Six Nations now in Alliance with & Subject to the King of Great Britain.
Date Made:1755
Materials:engraving on laid paper; ink; paper
Place Made:Great Britain: Greater London, London
Measurements:Frame: 26 x 20 1/4 x 1 1/4 in; 66 x 51.4 x 3.2 cm; Sheet: 15 5/16 x 10 7/16 in; 38.9 x 26.5 cm; Plate: 14 3/8 x 10 1/4 in; 36.5 x 26 cm
Narrative Inscription:  The brave old Hendrick the great Sachem or Chief of the Mohawk Indians. / One of the Six Nations now in Alliance with & Subject to the King of Great Britain. / Sold by Eliz Bakewell opposite Birchin Lane in Cornhill
Accession Number:  HD 2022.14
Credit Line:Museum Collections Fund with generous support from Tom and Tania Evans and John and Nancy Barnard
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Born about 1691 in Westfield, Massachusetts, Hendrick was a member of the Bear clan, a lineage claimed through his Mohawk mother. He rose to prominence in New York’s Mohawk Valley as an orator, strategist, and warrior. Through his close ties with William Johnson (1715-1774), the principle Indian agent of the northern colonies, Hendrick learned to navigate both Native and English worlds. Johnson reputedly provided Hendrick with the English attire that he wore when making public appearances, and perhaps dressed in for his portrait. Allied with the British during the French and Indian War (1755-1763), Mohawk warriors under Hendrick accompanied provincial troops from New England and New York to Albany in the summer of 1755. Among the Massachusetts provincials were Dr. Thomas Williams of Deerfield (1718-1775) who acted as surgeon, his brother, Colonel Ephraim Williams Jr., (1715-1755) who had Massachusetts troops under his command, and the Reverend Stephen Williams (1693-1782), the “Boy Captive” of the 1704 raid on Deerfield, as chaplain. Under Johnson’s overall command the forces moved north to Lake George, planning to attack the French at Crown Point. Johnson ordered a fortification erected at the south end of the lake when he learned of French movements, and sent Ephraim Williams, Hendrick, and a combined force of 1200 men to reinforce Fort Edward. Williams, Hendrick, and many others were killed in a devastating French ambush on September 8th that became known as the “Bloody Morning Scout.” Provincial forces later beat back French attacks on the fortification, allowing Johnson to claim victory. By being the first to get the news into print, Johnson became the hero of Lake George and was handsomely reward by Parliament. With news of the battle circulating in the British press, the slain Hendrick’s name had come before the public. The opportunity for a printed likeness was at hand. Titled The Brave old Hendrick the great Sachem or Chief of the Mohawk Indians, the unattributed and undated engraving is believed to be based on a now-lost painting. Hendrick is pictured in European clothing, holding a tomahawk and possibly a narrow string of wampum in the other hand, objects that highlight his role as warrior and diplomat. His face, tattooed and perhaps even scarred, is that of a dignified elder statesman. The print’s publisher, Elizabeth Bakewell (active 1749-1770), and her partner, Henry Parker, presumably issued the print after Hendrick’s death at Lake George. Elizabeth, widow of Thomas, continued her husband’s business as a publisher and print and map seller in the Cornhill section of London.

Native American; indigenous people; historical figures; warriors

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