This historic print depicts the surrender of the British forces after the Battle of Yorktown. In the print, Major General O'Hara, substituting for General Cornwallis, is shown handing his sword to the Comte de Rochambeau, who is standing next to General Washington. The print was engraved by the Illman Brothers in 1870, after a painting by Armand-Dumaresq.
The surrender took place on October 19, 1781. It ended the month-long Siege of Yorktown and virtually guaranteed American independence. Beginning in September, Cornwallis and a force of 7,000 men had encamped in Yorktown, hoping for either rescue or reinforcements from the sea. However, the French naval fleet routinely repelled the British vessels. Several weeks in to the encampment, General Washington deployed a large army to Yorktown, and with heavy artillery fire, bombarded the British positions. American and French forces were able to overrun two of the British strongholds, forcing Cornwallis to fold and surrender.
Included in this engraved depiction are many leaders of the American troops that took part in the siege: Comte de Custine, Duc de Laval Montmorency, Duc de Lauzun, Major General O'Hara, Comte de Deuxponts, Comte de Rochambeau, Marquis de Lafayette, General Washington, General Lincoln, Baron Steuben, and General H. Knox.
Charles Edouard Armand-Dumaresq (1826-1895) was a French painter known mainly for his religious and military subjects. He came to the United States in 1870, sent by the French government to study design in art and industry. Spending time both at West Point and the Naval Academy, he was inspired to paint scenes from the American Revolutionary War. One of his paintings, The Signing of the Declaration of Independence, hangs in the Cabinet Room of the White House.
The Illman Brothers were prolific mid-nineteenth century engravers whose work dealt with historical subjects, as well as fashion.
This print is in good condition. The impression is strong, and later hand coloring is beautifully done. Paper has been stabilized by a conservator.
This engraving is artfully and archivally presented in a custom-built wooden frame, linen top mat, and engraved descriptive plaque.