You are viewing
an original 1861 portrait of a Slave Family. It is from an
original 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly, the most popular
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
On the day this leaf was printed, Abraham Lincoln was president of the
United States, and men and women were held captive across this country
in the bondage of slavery.
This is a rare and highly
collectible illustration. In the upper left corner of the leaf
is a portrait of a slave family- Venus and Napoleon. Venus is
pictured over a wash tub washing clothes, and Napoleon is shown with
his foot on a ladder, smoking a corn cob pipe. The slaves
are pictured discussing 'rumors of war' concerning the Civil War,
which was about to begin. The conversation is captured below the
portrait, which I will present below. Understand that the
conversation was written to capture the dialect used by the slaves:
say dey's fiten', Poleon.
Marster say dey is, 'cause dey can't get no Coppermise.
Venus: Whar de get
de Norf, I bl'ieve.
my Lor! sooner en' to fite, dey better git de Coppermise, ef it cos' a
Hundred Dollar; de ting of Brudderin' fitin' is agin de Scriptur.
WOW- what a rare an historical
piece. Imagine actually owning an original portrait of a slave
family, printed within days of the opening of the Civil War, with the
Slaves discussing the upcoming war. It simply does not get more
collectible than this. The leaf will make a wonderful display, and
will be cherished for generations to come. Original period
material with significant slave content is becoming very difficult to
find, and this is a very special piece.
Unlike newsprint of this century, these older,
original pages do not yellow and fall apart. The reason is that modern newspapers
use an acid based process. Remnant acid in the paper causes the paper to quickly
yellow and deteriorate. A different process was used in the mid-1800's which
yielded an exceptional quality paper that will last for centuries. Special acid free
mats should be used when you frame this piece to ensure that it will last another 150
years. Acid free mats are available at most better frame shops. If you have
any questions related to handling or framing this piece feel free to email
print is approximately 10 3/4 X 16 inches. I have been collecting Civil War
Newspapers for over 15 years. It is a fascinating hobby, and I find that these
pieces really get noticed when framed and displayed.
The leaf is in excellent condition.
It has the rich sepia tone that you expect in original material
from this period. It has light foxing in the margins, and has
moderate finger smudging from folks handling the print over the last
140 years. It is
highly displayable, and I guarantee your satisfaction!