In a letter to Montgomery Meigs, Thomas Crawford explained the symbolism of the right side of the pediment:

The pioneer I have rendered by the athletic figure of a backwoodsman clearing the forest.

The Indian race and its extinction is explained by the group of the Indian chief and his family. Connecting this group with the backwoodsman are a few stumps of trees in which is seen retreatring a rattlesnake. The son of the chief appears next returning from the hunt with a [col]lection of game slung upon a spear over his shoulder. His [lo]oks are directed to the pioneer whose advance he rergards with surprise. In the statue of the Indian chief I have endeavoured to concentrate all the despair and profound grief resulting from the conviction of the white man's triumph.

The wife and infant of the chief complete this group of figures, while the grave, being emblematic of the extinction of the Indian race, terminates and fills up [this] portion of the tympanum...

View Crawford's sketch of the Pediment's left side.