Plantation Slaves


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Original 1861 Civil War Illustration:

Southern Plantation Slave

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Plantation Slave Print

Plantation Slave

Plantation Slave

You are viewing an original 1861 illustration featuring a plantation slave.  It is from an 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly, the most popular illustrated newspaper of the day.  Note that this is not a reprint, and I absolutely guarantee its authenticity.  This leaf is over 140 years old, and the date is clearly marked on the front of print. On the day this leaf was printed  Abraham Lincoln was President  of the United States, and the Civil War was raging on. 

This is a fascinating illustration featuring a Slave during the Civil War.  The slave is in the center left image.  The slave is pictured leaning on a doorpost in a barn.  He is featured in his tattered work clothes and shoes.  He is commenting on the cotton politics of the day.  Britain had  advanced the Confederacy a significant sum of money for the upcoming cotton crop, but the Rebels planted corn instead to feed a hungry population.  The image includes the slave's thoughts on the matter: "Golly! I don't know whar de Cottin's gwine to cum frum.  Dar's ole Massa gone an 'scribed Five Hund'd Bale to de Sudern 'Federcy and Aint got a speck ob Cottin in de groun'; gone an dug em all up, an' planted Corn.  Dis Chile's under 'pression dat Massa Bull (Britain) or some odder pusson on de outside gwine to be sucked in when dey cum to git dat Cottin fo de money dey 'vanced.  Massa ses to Maj. Buckner- Lets git all de Money we can on de strength ob de Cottin Crop, an' den let 'em whistle for de Cottin".  Wow- it is interesting to study the original slave dialect in this piece!

Original material with significant slave content is becoming increasingly difficult to find as it is being quickly scooped up by serious collectors.  This is a nice image of a slave, and particularly collectible because of the extended slave discourse presented.  It will make a fabulous display when framed.  It would make an excellent addition to your collection, or wonderful gift for any student of Black History.

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 me. The print is approximately 11x16  inches.  I have been collecting Civil War Newspapers for over 10 years.  It is a fascinating hobby, and I find that these pieces really get noticed when framed and displayed.

The leaf is in very good condition. It has the rich sepia toning that you expect in original material from this period. It has a few areas of light foxing, and a few finger smudges in the margins.




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