Washington Reviewing the Western Army at Fort Cumberland, Maryland
Attributed to Frederick Kemmelmeyer (ca. 1755–1821)
Oil on canvas
22 3/4 x 37 1/4 in. (57.8 x 94.6 cm)
Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, 1963
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 719
On October 16, 1794, President George Washington called on the militia at Fort Cumberland, Maryland, to suppress a rebellion in western Pennsylvania. The conflict was precipitated by the 1792 excise laws regarding the sale of distilled spirits. The Scotch-Irish immigrants who made their living from the sale and barter of whiskey deemed the laws discriminatory, and their protests turned into full-scale riots. Upon Washington’s arrival to review his troops, the resistance vanished. The episode went down in history as one of the crucial early tests of centralized government and as a reminder of Washington’s power.
Charles Frederick Quincy, Newton, Massachusetts, New York, and Scarsdale, New York, until 1927; with Victor D. Spark, New York, by 1942–1945; Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, Cambridge, Maryland, 1945–1963