"Sir William Johnson Conferring with the Indians"
The historic post office building in Amsterdam, New York contains two Section of Fine Arts murals entitled “Departure of a Packet Boat” and “Sir William Johnson Conferring with the Indians” painted by Henry Schnakenberg in 1939.
Also pictured here is an oil study Schnakenberg did for the mural in 1937. The oil study is a 36 x 116cm triptych.
A historical description of the encounter depicted paints the scene as follows:
“On July 20, 1749, a great Indian Conference was held at Albany, New York. It was attended by seven of the Colonial Governors, with their uniformed staffs and families, also the Indian chiefs from the various tribes with their families, all attired in gorgeous raiment. Much has been written of this conference by Johnson and others, but, aside from the presentation of gifts to the Indians, nothing of any practical use was accomplished. In 1751 the Provincial Assembly refused Johnson funds for his Indian work and this made him resign the post as Commissioner but in 1755 General Braddock, Commander of the British forces in America, reappointed him superintendent of Indian Affairs and gave him the rank of Major General. Admiral Warren died in 1752 willing what lands were left of his in the valley to Johnson. In the following year the French began to be troublesome again, winning over the Senecas to their side and taking all the Ohio tracts. On July 5, 1753, Johnson was directed to confer with the Senecas, the Onondagas, and the Cayugas. In the fall he met with them at Onondaga, where he was regally entertained, but found no cause of trouble.” (Chronicles of Oklahoma)
Triptych and further project information submitted by Jürgen Schmidt. https://www.wpamurals.com/newyork.htm https://digital.library.okstate.edu/Chronicles/v022/v022p164.pdf
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE