M1882 | Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row, King of the Six Nations

 
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Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row, King of the Six Nations
John Verelst
1710, 18th century
36.3 x 26.2 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
M1882
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Ethnology (606) , Native people (373) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

A second portrait from this 1710 visit depicts the man baptized Hendrick, a Mohawk and member of the wolf clan. He is shown as a statesman, holding one of the wampum belts presented to Queen Anne. All four of the "Indian Kings", as they were called, were painted wearing white shirts and scarlet robes edged in gold fabric, given to them on their arrival. Hendrick played an important role in Aboriginal and colonial affairs throughout his life. He visited London again in 1740 and died in 1755 fighting at Lake George, site of one of the major battles in the French and Indian War.

As historic accounts reveal, many denizens of the Old World mistakenly assumed that their sophisticated civilization would overwhelm Aboriginal guests. But these "savages", as they were initially labelled, were not overawed, and Europeans found themselves negotiating with astute and accomplished diplomats. Today, almost three hundred years later, period illustrations like this one allow us an unparalleled opportunity to gaze upon the likenesses of impressive Aboriginal emissaries.

  • What

    This mezzotint illustration of Hendrick is based on an oil painting by a Dutch painter living in London, John Verelst (1648?-1734). Queen Anne commissioned Verelst to produce portraits of the "Four Indian Kings", as they were called.

  • Where

    Hendrick was painted during a 1710 visit to the court of Queen Anne in London. He had travelled to England with three other Aboriginal emissaries to ask for missionaries for religious instruction and to request military assistance.

  • When

    This mezzotint was produced in 1710, not long after the original portraits were painted. John Bowles & Son no doubt produced illustrations like this one to make images of the Aboriginal visitors accessible to as many people as possible.

  • Who

    The man baptized Hendrick, a Mohawk and member of the wolf clan, played an important role in Aboriginal and colonial affairs throughout his life. He visited London again in 1740 and died in 1755 fighting at Lake George, site of one of the major battles in the French and Indian War.