This specific piece, which depicts the infamous duel and subsequent death of Alexander Hamilton in 1804, departs from many of the other panels of the series in its stylistic qualities. The violence in the image is subtle, but salient. The composition guides the eyes through diagonals to see the splash of red, resulting from Hamilton’s injury.
This panel depicts the surrender of British General Cornwallis at Yorktown, a battle which is remembered as the last major engagement of the American Revolution, effectively ending the conflict with a resounding American victory.
Jacob Lawrence’s depiction of the battle takes place in a moment of collision between Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum’s troop and American soldiers at Bennington. The composition’s chaotic vision is realized through the sharp angular lines and a dark palette with bursts of red, white, and blue. Powerful lines created by the crossing bayonets create a sense of movement.