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Lewis Foy

The Great Indian Council


Lewis Foy
England 1757 – Cap Santé, Quebec, 1825


The Great Indian Council


About 1793


Pen and ink, watercolour and gouache over traces of graphite


33 x 50.7 cm


Gift of Messrs. G. Ronald Jackson and Michael Jackson, inv. 1967.1575


Graphic Arts

The landscape is the site of dispute for the stakeholders, who, from group to group, would radically alter its configuration and interpretation. This is precisely what is suggested in the watercolour by Lewis Foy. Its subject—an Indian council—and date—about 1793—serve to illustrate the conflicts then taking place in the Northwest Territories between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. While the United States at that time was trying to establish peace along the border through negotiations aimed at the signing of a treaty, John Graves Simcoe, appointed lieutenant-governor of the Loyalist province of Upper Canada in September 1791, pursued a different objective: “the chimerical prospect of an Indian buffer state between the United States and the two Canadas.”

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