Plate - L985.P.051
The War Hatchet by Murray Killman. 35cm by 35cm including frame. Made of fine porcelain, painted in autumn colours, with a gold trim around the outside edge of the plate. The plate's manufacturing registration code is No. 865/1000, located on the back.
This commemorative plate shows an exchange at a treaty held at Fort Niagara in 1777 whereby many Haudenosaunee warriors, including Joseph Brant, pledge their loyalty to help defend King George and his subjects. The Mohawks, Seneca's, and Cayuga's at the treaty council renewed their Covenant Chain Alliance as offered their assistance as allies to the Crown. In this scene British Major John Butler receives a U.S. tomahawk captured by the Onondagas. He also receives a purple war wampum belt as a pledge by Indigenous allies to rally to the King's cause. The eagle represents the encroaching Americans, and the wolf represents the intended response. Artist Killman felt that this moment was the most significant in Canadian history. The image was part of The Great Chiefs of Canada series, 1985.
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