Remnant of the Tribe Leaving the Hunting Ground of Their Fathers
Date: c. 1845
Medium: Oil on canvas on panel
Dimensions: 36 1/2 x 48 1/4 in. (92.7 x 122.6 cm) frame: 40 1/2 x 53 in. (102.9 x 134.6 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of the Friends of Art, 1971
Object Number: 1971-175
About: This painting shows an imagined scene of American Indians peacefully leaving their familial hunting ground. The picture seems to be set in the Northeast, perhaps in New England where the artist lived, in a distant past with no obvious signs of white settlers. The painting also spoke to current events. Between 1830 and 1850, thousands of Native Americans were forcibly relocated from their ancestral homelands in the southeastern United States. Members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Ponca nations were marched west by state and local militias. These violent, force migrations came to be known as the Trail of Tears. In addition, Fisher's painting might also be seen in light of the widespread view of American Indians as a "vanishing race"--noble and brave, but unlikely to survive the expansion of the United States in the 1800s. This myth was propagated in popular literature, like James Fennimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, which was published about 20 years before this painting was made.
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