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The brave old Hendrick the great SACHEM of Chief of the Mohawk Indians, one of the Six Nations now in Alliance with, & subject to the King of Britain.

ca. 1740
Origin: England, London
OH: 15 1/4" x OW: 10 1/2"; Plate H: 14 3/8" x W: 10 3/8
Black and white line engraving with etching
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2001-761
The lower margin reads: "The brave old Hendrick the great SACHEM or Chief or the Mohawk Indians,/ one of the Six Nations now in Alliance with, & subject to the King of Great Britain./ Sold by Eliz. Bakewell opposite Biirchin lane in Cornhill."
Label:Despite the fact that the European presence in America adversely affected the Native Americans in many ways, they were able to manipulate the balance of power between England and France. While they were feared, they were also relied upon for defense and trade goods. Each of the major powers competing for the Indian trade wanted to secure the allegiance of individual tribes. During the initial stages of the French and Indian War, Mohawk Chief Hendrick’s alliance with the English played an important role in protecting the New York frontier from the French. Hendrick, a powerful leader within the Iroquois Confederacy, was killed while fighting with the British colonial troops at the Battle of Lake George in 1755.

While in London in 1740, King George presented Hendrick with a green satin waistcoat, fringed in gold which is likely the one he was wearing when he sat for this portrait. He was known to have been fond of wearing this coat in conjunction with his Mohawk ceremonial clothing, perhaps as a symbol of the alliance between the two cultures.
Provenance:Tiyanoga, called King Hendrick...