This watercolor painting was created by M.A. Emanuel and shows an image of Hendrick Arnold at the Siege of Bexar during the Texas Revolution. Hendrick Arnold, a “free” African American, was a spy and a guide during the Texas Revolution. During a hunting expedition he came across Stephen F. Austin’s encampment at Salado Creek. He offered his services to Stephen F. Austin as a guide and later took part in the Battle of Concepcion. During the siege of Bexar, Arnold served as the guide for Benjamin R. Milam.
The Siege of Bexar developed into one of the first major campaigns of the Texas Revolution when a group of Texas volunteers laid siege to the Mexican army stationed in San Antonio de Bexar from October to December 1835. Benjamin R. Milan and Francis W. Johnson and approximately 300 volunteers entered Bexar on December 5th. Conflict continued until General Cos of the Mexican Army surrendered on December 9th. During the Siege of Bexar, Texas suffered approximately 30 casualties while Mexico suffered approximately 150 casualties.
Arnold was acknowledged for his important service during the siege of Bexar in the official report written by Francis W. Johnson. Arnold continued to serve the Texas Revolution after the siege of Bexar ended and Texas gained control of the San Antonio area. He received land in Bandera, TX as compensation for his service during the Revolution and operated a gristmill in San Antonio after the revolution ended. He passed away during a cholera epidemic in San Antonio in 1849.