Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Battle of Tippecanoe 1811

This painting was painted by Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887) who is known for painting events from the American Revolution and early 19th Century American history. This particular painting is called The Battle of Tippecanoe and shows a battle between white settlers (Governor William Henry Harrison and his men) and the Native American Ohio River Valley's Shawnee Tribe.
Without knowing the history of this painting it shows the white settlers going in for battle against the natives and that the natives are turning and running from them in order to stand a chance. However the absence of any native women or children indicates that this is a sort of pre-arranged attack on a battle field, and so the white settlers haven't actually invaded the natives home tribe. From looking at the picture it seems that it was the native Americans who were the ones to start this particular conflict as the central native in the red looks as if he has gone ahead, attempted to spy on the white settlers and then retreated. As well as this it seems that they both have arrived in a potential space to battle as the white settlers are lined up along the left and the natives lined up along the right ready to fight.
However it seems that the natives wern't expecting so many white settlers and for them to have such advanced weaponry - and so once they realised that they didn't stand much of a chance - Begin to run in retreat. It looks like the white settlers are very calm and confident with their numbers and weaponry and so don't actually look like they are putting much strategy into the battle itself as they can already predict the outcome. Whereas the natives look like they've been taken by surprise by the confidence of the white settlers and are instead turning and running from them rather than continuing with the fight. At this point in the conflict they have one casualty east although looking further into the picture the army of white settlers seem to be more organised and look as if they are in battle formation, with a soldier in the centre of the picture looks like hes about to kill another native.

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