The Slave Auction
viewing a rare 1864 illustration featuring a Slave Auction and other
incredible slave content. It is from an original 1864 edition of Harper's
Weekly, the most popular newspaper of the day. Note that this is not a
reprint, and I absolutely guarantee its authenticity. This leaf is over 130
years old, and the date is clearly marked on the front of the print.
On the day this leaf was printed, Abraham Lincoln was president of the
United States, the Civil War was raging on, and men and women were bought
and sold like cattle across our land.
stated, this is the rarest and most historically important slave
illustration to be found. It represents a highly collectible piece, rich
with incredible historic content. It captures the full human cost of the
institution of Slavery, and was produced at a time that Slavery was an
institution in this nation. It was created by Thomas Nast, one of the most
celebrated artists of the 1800's. Thomas Nast was famous for creating the
popular image of Santa Claus, and the Republican Elephant.
contains no less than 19 striking inset illustrations of the tragedy of
slavery. Featured prominently near the center of the print is an
illustration of a Slave Auction. In the image, a beautiful young woman is
pictured with her head slung low, standing on the auction block, being sold
to the highest bidder. Behind her stands the auctioneer, gavel in hand,
about to complete the sale of another enslaved human. On the auctioneers
podium reads the words, "States Rights, Auction of Slaves and Nigger Union
Soldiers". In the audience, the high bidder can be seen with an evil grin
on his face, as the auction is completed. To the side of the auction block
kneels the woman's husband and small child, about to be auctioned off in
separate auctions. The child clings to his father, as if he knows this is
the last few moments the family will ever be together. This image, more
than any other, captures the unimaginable inhumanity of the institution of
inset presents another poignant image of the cruelty of Slavery. A slave is
pictured tied to a tree being brutally beaten by two men. The man is
collapsed in pain, but is unable to fall to the ground, because he is roped
to a tree. The men whip him mercilessly. Two other black men are pictured
on the ground, undoubtedly about to receive the same fate.
includes a riot in which white men are beating a group of blacks with
clubs. One black man is on the ground. His attacker has him by the throat
and is about to deliver the death blow with a club. Even a child is shown
stomping the downed man. Another man is holding a black child in the air,
and is beating him mercilessly with a club.
image shows the plight of two runaway slaves. They are pictured being
pursued by a hunting party, led by a pack of dogs. The dogs have caught the
two unfortunate slaves, have them on the ground and are mauling them as the
men catch up. The two downed slaves pay the ultimate price for their
unquenchable desire for freedom.
shows a group of men who have captured a Union Buffalo Soldier, and are
returning him to bondage. Other images include pictures of Jefferson Davis,
George McClellan, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and other
Generals of the day. Draped across the top of the illustration are images
of tattered flags, with the names of Civil War battles etched on the
leaf does present a ray of hope. President Abraham Lincoln is pictured
standing on a stage, in front of a group of slaves, reading them the
emancipation proclamation; boldly declaring their freedom, and the end of
the cruelty of human bondage. The crowd of slaves are pictured celebrating,
praying and giving thanks. Surrounding all the poignant images are the words
from the 1864 Democratic National Convention platform. In the center of the
Print is pictured George McClellan, Democratic Candidate for President of
the United States.
WOW- what can
I say. You are simply not going to find a more important historical piece.
This is an extremely rare illustration, and I do not know if I will ever be
able to offer another one. As you hold this leaf in your hand, and gaze at
the images, consider the world on the day it was printed. It is hard to
believe that on the day this leaf was printed, the events depicted were
actually occurring. Holding this print is your hand gives you a sense of
connection with these events that is hard to explain. You can almost hear
the cries of the multitudes suffering the pains of captivity.
illustration will make a stunning display when framed and placed in your
office or study. It will become the center of attention wherever it is
displayed. Visitors will no doubt have endless questions about the print.
It will make an excellent addition to your collection, or a wonderful gift
for any student of Black History. I assure you that this leaf will not only
be cherished by its new owner, but by generations to come. What other
purchase that you make this year will have such enduring value?
Slave Auction: $250