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Illustration Art, New York City, Frederick Elmiger, George Washington and Generals in Manhattan, Vintage Painting


Frederick Elmiger (1890-1975)
George Washington and His Generals Confer in Manhattan
[Eventual Site of 43rd and Broadway]

American: c. 1960s
Watercolor, gouache and/or acrylic on artist’s board
Signed lower right
20.25 x 30 inches, overall

Original painting of General George Washington conferring with his generals beneath a tree on a dusty, sun-dappled patch of ground during the Revolutionary War in late August 1776, after the defeat of the American Army in the Battle of Long Island. In the background, men with horses and a cannon stand guard. Washington points into the distance, perhaps intended by the artist to show him discussing his strategy of beginning of a series of retreats northward. A typeset label accompanies the painting; apparently these images were exhibited with the labels. It gives a brief account of its history:

After being defeated in the Battle of Long Island, the American Army withdrew to Manhattan. General Washington and his Generals held a hasty conference at a spot about 43rd Street and Broadway. He ordered the Army northward. On September 16, 1776, in a buckwheat field, now partly occupied by Barnard College and the buildings of Columbia University, Washington’s victorious Battle of Harlem Heights was fought.

Product Description Continues Below


The Battle of Long Island, August 27-29, 1776, dealt a decisive defeat to the American Army and began a four-month period of a series of retreats, setbacks and defeats; this was the period when Nathan Hale was executed by the British for spying and Thomas Paine famously wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” The night of August 29th, the American Army crossed the East River into Manhattan and Washington decided to retreat and evacuate his forces from New York City. While they did repulse the British at the Battle of Harlem Heights, they continued to retreat northward and suffered heavy casualties several weeks later in White Plains, Fort Washington and Fort Lee, and eventually abandoned the New York area. It was not until late December that the American Army achieved a decisive victory, at Trenton, New Jersey.

Frederick Elmiger was an American illustrator. He frequently produced series on historical themes for Donald Art Company in Port Chester, New York, publishers of posters, lithographs, and artists’ prints. These included scenes from American history, Revolutionary war uniforms and vintage automobiles. At the time of his death he was living in Larchmont, New York.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Outer margins with some glue residue, staining and abrasions from former matting, apparently intended by artist to be matted out as originally issued, and now to be rematted out when reframed. Original title card very good with overall light toning and wear.


“Conflict and Revolution: 1775 to 1776.” The History Place: American Revolution. 1998. (30 April 2007).

Additional information


20th Century