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Sale 38 Lot 1181

1812 INDIAN BATTLE SCENE A fine, hand-colored print circa 1830 entitled "A View of Col. Johnson's Engagement with the Savage (Commanded by Tecumseh) near the Moravian Town, October 5, 1812". Measuring 15" x 9", the image is printed in black and tinted in red, blue, yellow and green, with skilled and detailed depictions of violent battle scenes. The engraver is A. Bowen, whose named appears at bottom left corner as "A Bowen, Sc[ulptor]". Bowen produced prolifically during the 1830's and specialized in maps, many of which are now on display in the Library of Congress. The artist also enumerated, below the print in the blank bottom edge, the actions depicted. In part: "...1 Col. Johnson heroically defending himself against the attack of an Indian Chief... 5 Tecumseh rallying his men, and encouraging them to return to the attack...". Richard Mentor Johnson led a contingent of his troops into a battle against Tecumseh during the Battle of the Thames [also known as the Battle of Moraviantown] at Chatham, Ontario, part of the fighting during the War of 1812. Johnson was wounded several times with both rifle shot and tomahawk and eventually knocked unconscious, but was credited with killing Tecumseh during the battle when Tecumseh's body was later found showing evidence of being slain by a mounted officer with Johnson's unique combination of shot and ball. Johnson eventually won election to the Vice Presidency under Martin Van Buren in 1836, largely due to his fame as Tecumseh's killer, with the slogan "Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh". Though undated, the print is part of the 1830 edition of Henry Trumbull's History of the Discovery of America, and is further unique because the date of the depicted battle is 1813, not "1812" as printed. Moderate folds, light wear to edges, but overall in very good condition, with tinting still bright. A fine piece of American military history.
Estimate $ 1,200-1,500

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