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Birmingham Museum of Art

Neil Rickoff



While visiting the Birmingham Museum of Art I came across two paintings that had to do with the events of the American Revolution. The first piece was the surrender and arrest of Benedict Arnold, who was a traitor to the colonial forces and an informant for the British during the revolution. Arnold was a general in the colonial military before defecting to the British, who then welcomed him into their forces as a Brigadier General. He was in command of the West Point military base which he had planned to surrender over to the British before being discovered to be a traitor. After being discovered of Treason in 1780, he was allowed to leave by George Washington and then joined the British military in 1781, although with the lingering reputation of failure which also affected his payment from the British Government and also earned him the disrespect of his forces in the British military despite coming back to seize Richmond, Virginia by surprise before being forced and awaiting evacuation or reinforcement. The Second Painting was of Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry who was also known as the "Hero of Lake Erie" for his decisive win over the British Navy at the Battle of Lake Erie where he was able to commandeer the entire squadron of six ships while only taking 27 casualties, whereas the British suffered 41 casualties, and the capture of the remaining forces. The battle of Lake Erie happened in 1812 and was a major turning point in the revolution.