Frank Earle Schoonover was born on August 19th 1877 in Oxford New Jersey. In 1896 an advertisement in the Philadelphia Inquirer for illustration classes would lead him to Drexel University and the man who would become his mentor, Howard Pyle. In 1898 and 1899 he was awarded one of ten scholarships to study with Pyle at his Chadds Ford summer school. One of the greatest influences Pyle had on Schoonover was the idea to experience what you paint, which would lead him to immersing himself in whatever subject matter he depicted. He died at 94, leaving behind more than two thousand illustrations.
Commissioned as 1 of 6 illustrations the artist would create to appear in the 1926 re-publication of American Hero Stories by Eva March Tappan, our painting illustrates Washington and his troops coming out of the boats after crossing the icy Delaware River on December 24, 1776. The surprise landing of the Continental Army in New Jersey is considered to be the turning point of the American Revolution, due to their victories over Hessian and British troops in the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.