the women of the plantation with a respectful tip of their hats. The
men of the house are no doubt off to war.
The women look both worried and confused. At the same time there is an
absolute celebration amongst the Plantation Slaves, learning for the first
time that they are free. In the foreground, one slave can be seen
bowing low, in thanks, to one of the Union soldiers. An older black
man can be seen bowing, with hat in hand, to the same soldier. The
children are standing around, looking more confused than anything else.
They probably do not yet understand the implication of freedom and
emancipation. A large black woman can be seen with her hands in the air, as
if praising God for the good news that has just arrived.
One plantation slave is so
happy that he is celebrating by literally walking on his hands. A child is
seen in the fork of the tree, waiving his hat in celebration.
Some other soldiers are
seen exchanging pleasantries with the slaves on the Southern Plantation.
This is a fascinating
image, capturing the moment of joy and celebration as the slaves realize
that they are free. The emancipation of the slaves forever changed
life in the South, and the business of Southern Plantations.
We created this
Thomas Nast Gallery to digitally preserve Nast's Slavery work for
posterity. We are now making the original, 140 year old leafs
available for a $250 contribution to this site. The proceeds from the sale of the
material will enable us to continue to expand the free educational material featured on our
site. Please contact
if you are interested in acquiring one of these original leafs.