Four chromolithographic vignettes from the album card set, Journey of a Slave from the Plantation to the Battlefield. Henry Louis Stephens.
Four chromolithographic vignettes from the album card set, Journey of a Slave from the Plantation to the Battlefield.
Four chromolithographic vignettes from the album card set, Journey of a Slave from the Plantation to the Battlefield.
Four chromolithographic vignettes from the album card set, Journey of a Slave from the Plantation to the Battlefield.
Four chromolithographic vignettes from the album card set, Journey of a Slave from the Plantation to the Battlefield.

Four chromolithographic vignettes from the album card set, Journey of a Slave from the Plantation to the Battlefield.

[Philadelphia]: Wm A. Stephens. Unbound. Four of twelve vignettes from Henry Louis Stephens' album card set Journey of a Slave from the Plantation to the Battlefield. Each measures approximately 2.5” x 3.75”. All have been neatly trimmed-to-shape, and all have scrapbook paper remnants on their reverse.

The four vignettes in this lot are #3 “The Sale.”, #4 “The Parting ‘Buy us too.’”, #5 “The Lash.”. and #6 “Blow for Blow.”

The entire set of cards begins with images of a slave working “In the Cotton Field” and dancing joyously during “The Christmas Week” celebration. The four images in this lot follow. Then the set continues with three cards showing the slave, now escaped, hiding “In the Swamp’ before crossing a river to become “Free” and then falling on his knees before a Union should who tells him to “Stand Up a Man!” The next two images show the former slave as a soldier attacking a Confederate redoubt shouting “Make Way for Liberty!” and “Victory” as he is mortally wounded grasping a U.S. Flag. The final card titled, “He Died for Me” shows Lady Liberty holding a laurel wreath over his dead body. Item #009597

H. L. Stephens was a noted book and magazine illustrator from Philadelphia, most remembered for his 1851 set of caricatures, The Comic Natural History of the Human Race, which featured the heads of famous Americans attached to the bodies of mammals, fish, birds, and insects.

In addition to providing illustrations for some editions of Dickens, Stowe, and Twain, Stephens also illustrated children’s books for Hurd & Houghton including the Death and Burial of Poor Cock Robin, The Five Little Pigs, Old Mother Hubbard, and The Frog He Would a Wooing Go.

During the Civil War, Stephens illustrated Union Army recruiting posters for Philadelphia. (See Timothy G. Young’s Drawn to Enchant: Original Children’s Book Art in the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Collection.)

This cards from this set are extremely scarce. As of this listing, no other cards or trimmed 'scraps' from it are for sale in the trade. The Rare Book Hub shows none having ever been sold at auction. OCLC shows only one institutional example, a full-set held by the Library of Congress, however, sets are also held by Harvard and the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Price: $250.00

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