Lithograph of George Washington and William Lee

Artista o fabricante
Noël Le Mire
ca. 1790

This engraving, inspired by a Charles Willson Peale (American, 1741–1827) painting, depicts General George Washington victorious at the Battle of Yorktown. Washington stands upon torn documents of the British government’s official reconciliation efforts with the American colonies. In his hands, Washington holds the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Alliance, both of which led to independence from Britain.

Behind Washington is a man who likely represents the General’s enslaved valet, William Lee. It is possible that Lee was literate, and he worked alongside Washington for two decades including the years of the Revolutionary War. Both Washington and Lee stayed in the Morris-Jumel Mansion during the Continental Army’s headquartering at the house in the fall of 1776.

The inscription on the bottom reads:

Le General Washington. Ne Quid Detrimenti capiat Res publica. Gravé d’après le Tableau Original appartenant à Mr. Marquis de la Fayette.