Avard Tennyson Fairbanks (1897 — 1987) was a prolific nineteenth-century sculpture well known for his depictions of American patriotic scenes and figures. A native of Utah, Fairbanks studied at the Art Students League of New York and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His works can be found in a number of major museums and public collections, including the United States Capitol and the Smithsonian Museums.
This work, Washington's Courier, depicts the moment then General George Washington, leader of the American Revolutionary Forces, received news that General Charles Cornwallis surrendered the war on October 19, 1781. According to contemporary accounts, Washington was in Philadelphia at the time and was awoken at 3 AM by a courier who shouted loudly — overheard by many in the camp — "Past three o'clock, and Corwallis is taken!"