John Buxton painting

Damn the Capitulation

An Incident at Fort Necessity, July 4, 1754

22" x 34" oil



Painting information:


Fort Necessity in south western Pennsylvania, was a hastily constructed fort built by young Colonel George Washington (in Red Coat facing left with back towards you) and his 300 men in an attempt to defend themselves from an approaching army of 600 French marine and Canadian militia and several hundred of their Indian allies. After Washington was implicated in the death of French officer Joseph Coulon de Jumonville a month earlier (the first shots of the French and Indian War), the French relentlessly pursued Washington's forces until their encounter at the Great Meadows, where Ft. Necessity was erected. On July 3rd, the battle began with the Virginia and British forces suffering extensive casualties and facing very low provisions. Near midnight, Washington accepted surrender terms by the French which allowed them to leave the fort with their colors, arms, and personal possessions.


Terms of surrender were violated when Major Adam Stephen's servant called to him that his clothes were being looted. He rushed to the offenders, seized his trunk, and kicked the thief in the backsides. Two French officers warned that if, "he struck the men and behaved so, they could not be answerable to the capitulation". Stephen damned the capitulation and swore that the French had already violated it with their plundering.


Reproductions of this painting were produced.

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Painting photography by Alexander Patho Photography