IMAGES

Whipping a Slave, Surinam, 1770s


   

Image Reference NW0204

Source John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition, against the revolted Negroes of Surinam . . . from the year 1772, to 1777 (London, 1796), vol. 1, facing p. 326. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Comments Caption, “Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave.” Shows woman hanging from a tree with deep lacerations; in background two white men and two black men, the latter with whips. Stedman witnessed this punishment in 1774. The woman being whipped was an eighteen-year old girl who was given 200 lashes for having refused to have intercourse with an overseer. She was “lacerated in such a shocking manner by the whips of two negro-drivers, that she was from her neck to her ancles literally dyed with blood.” For the definitive modern edition, with illustrations, see Richard and Sally Price, eds. Narrative of a five years expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam: transcribed for the first time from the original 1790 manuscript (Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press,1988 ).

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Punishment of Female Slave, Surinam, 1770s African Slave Family, Surinam, 1770s

   

Image Reference NW0134

Source John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition, against the revolted Negroes of Surinam . . . from the year 1772, to 1777 (London, 1796), vol. 2, facing p. 280. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Comments Caption, “Family of Negro Slaves from Loango”; man heading basket of fish, woman heading fruits and vegetables with baby on her back, smoking a pipe and spinning cotton. For the definitive modern edition, with illustrations, see Richard and Sally Price, eds. Narrative of a five years expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam: transcribed for the first time from the original 1790 manuscript (Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press,1988 ).

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Image Reference NW0214

Source John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition, against the revolted Negroes of Surinam . . . from the year 1772, to 1777 (London, 1796), vol. 1, p. 15. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Comments Shows a woman carrying a weight chained to her ankle; in background, a man tilling ground with a hoe. The woman was judged guilty of not speaking when spoken to by a white person; for this she received 200 lashes and was forced to carry a 100 lb. weight chained to her ancle for several months. For the definitive modern edition, with illustrations, see Richard and Sally Price, eds. Narrative of a five years expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam: transcribed for the first time from the original 1790 manuscript (Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press,1988 ).

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Punishment of Slaves, Madagascar, 1850s


   

Image Reference Ellis-175

Source William Ellis, Three visits to Madagascar during the years 1853-1854-1856 (New York, 1859; reprinted, Philadelphia, 1888), p. 175; also published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (1858-59), vol. 18, p. 601. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Comments Caption:,”modes of punishing slaves.” “In one of their houses . . . a number of female slaves were at work. Some of them were carrying baskets of cotton or other articles from one room to another . . . I saw one young girl who had a couple of boards fixed on her shoulders, each of them rather more than two feet long, and ten inches or a foot wide, fastened together by pieces of wood nailed on the under side. A piece had been cut out of each board in the middle, so that, when fixed together they fitted close to her neck, and the poor girl, while wearing this instrument of punishment and disgrace, was working with the rest. On another occasion I saw a boy, apparently about fifteen years of age, with a rough, heavy iron collar on his naked neck. It seemed to be formed by a square bar of iron, about three-quarters of an inch thick, being bent around his neck, and the two ends then joined together. yet he was . . . employed in carrying fire-wood to the beach for shipping” (Ellis, 1888, p.145).

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Free Woman of Color, Surinam,”1770s


   

Image Reference NW0183

Source John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition, against the revolted Negroes of Surinam . . . from the year 1772, to 1777 (London, 1796), vol. 1, facing p. 296. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Comments Caption: “Female Quadroon Slave of Surinam.” Dress of the woman suggests a house servant or some other domestic employment. For the definitive modern edition, with illustrations, see Richard and Sally Price, eds. Narrative of a five years expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam:transcribed for the first time from the original 1790 manuscript (Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press,1988 ).

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Household Slave with Planter, Surinam, 1770s


   

Image Reference NW0263

Source John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative, of a Five Years’ Expedition, against the revolted Negroes of Surinam . . . from the year 1772, to 1777 (London, 1796), vol. 2, facing p. 56. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Comments Caption, “A Surinam Planter in His Morning Dress”; slave woman in background pouring him a drink. For the definitive modern edition, with illustrations, see Richard and Sally Price, eds. Narrative of a five years expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam: transcribed for the first time from the original 1790 manuscript (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,1988 ).

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Mulatto Female and Clothing Style, Peru, 1780s


   

Image Reference Trujillo_E46

Source Martinez Companon y Bujanda, Trujillo de Peru (Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispanica, 1978-1994;facsimile reproduction of manuscripts in the Biblioteca del Palacio Real de Madrid), vol. 2, plate E46

Comments Drawing simply identified as “Mulatta” shows woman dressed in billowing skirt, patterned sleeveless blouse, stockings, and buckled shoes. This and hundreds of other drawings were done by unidentifed Indians during the 1780s and were commissioned by the Spanish Bishop Baltazar Jaime Martinez Companon during his pastoral visit to the region of Trujillo in northern Peru. The drawings, spread over nine volumes, are of Spaniards, Indians, plants and animals, as well plans and maps of the region. Only Vol. 2 contains a few pictures of blacks, the index to the volume giving very sparse information on each drawing. (See other images Trujillo on this website.)

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Women and Clothing Styles, Paramaribo, Surinam, 1839


   

Image Reference BEN6b

Source Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage a Surinam . . . cent dessins pris sur nature par l’auteur (Bruxelles, 1839), plate xiii, fig. 26. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Comments A young slave woman carrying a bouquet of flowers to a festival/party (center), an elaborately dressed domestic servant (left), and an elderly “missie” (former mistress of a white man, usually a free woman of color) walking with a cane and wearing a head tie under her straw hat (right).

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House Slave Fanning European Woman, Brazil, 1821


   

Image Reference HENDERSON2

Source James Henderson, A History of the Brazil. . . (London, 1821), facing p. 346. (Copy in The Newberry Library, Chicago)

Comments “A Brazilian sesta, or afternoon nap” shows black female fanning a white woman while she naps; a black child sitting on the floor.

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Enslaved House Servants and White Children, South Carolina, 1863

Domestic Slave with Planter’s Family, Virginia, ca. 1859-64


   

Image Reference Dugan-1

Source Photograph by unidentified photographer, published in Ellen Dugan, ed., Picturing the South, 1860 to the Present (Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1996), p. 32; the photograph is held by a private collector.

Comments Shows female nursemaid holding white baby. The individuals are not identified, but the place is the town of New Market, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

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Branding an Enslaved Woman, 19th cent.


   

Image Reference H006

Source Brantz Mayer, Captain Canot; or, Twenty years an African slaver….(New York, 1854), facing p. 102. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Comments Caption, “Branding a Negress”; shows two European men and a black woman, one of former is branding the latter on the back. It is unclear if this illustration is intended to depict an activity on the African coast or in the New World; in any case, it appears to be incorporated into a larger image, with additional figures added, published in William O. Blake, The History of Slavery and the Slave Trade (Columbus, Ohio, 1857; facing p. 97; see image Blake1 on this website). With respect to branding, Canot/Conneau wrote in 1827: ” A few days before the embarkation takes place the head of every male and female are shaven. They are then marked . . . with a hot pipe sufficiently heated to blister the skin. Some [purchasers] use their initials made of silver wire. . . . . this disagreeable operation is done only when several persons ship slaves in one vessel . . . . [The branding] is done as lightly as possible, and just enough for the mark to remain only six months; when and if well done, it leaves the skin as smooth as ever. This scorching sign is generally made on the fleshy part of the arm to adults, to children on the posterior” (Theophilus Conneau, A Slaver’s Logbook or 20 Years’ Residence in Africa [Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1976), pp. 81-82; for another version of this, see Henry Howe (ed.), Life and Death on the Ocean [Cincinnati, 1856], p.526). The British military officer, John Duncan, describes branding of enslaved captives in Dahomey in the mid-1840s. The people were led onto the beach, before being placed aboard canoes that would take them to the waiting slave ships, “and the gang on each [coffle] chain is in succession marched close to a fire previously kindled on the beach. Here marking-irons are heated, and when an iron is sufficiently hot, it is quickly dipped in palm-oil, in order to prevent its sticking to the flesh. It is then applied to the ribs or hip, and sometimes even to the breast. Each slave-dealer uses his own mark, so that when the vessel arrives at her destination, it is easily ascertained to whom those who died belonged” (Travels in Western Africa in 1845 & 1846 [London, 1847; reprinted London, 1968], vol. I, p. 143). Another version of this image is shown on the website of the Mary Evans Picture Library (London), with an attribution to The Pictorial Times (London), 9 August 1845.

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Slave Auction, U.S. South, mid-19th cent.


   

Image Reference cass6

Source Edmund Ollier, Cassell’s History of the United States (London, 1874-77), Vol.3, p. 199

Comments Captioned “A Slave Auction,” shows an enslaved mother and her daughter on the auction block; another enslaved mother with infant waiting to be sold; white onlookers and white auctioneer. An artist’s fabrication embedded in a discussion of the events preceding the Civil War; the illustration itself is not discussed. Sometimes reproduced, without citation to original source, and impression given that this is an eye-witness illustration, e.g., James Walvin, Slavery and the Slave Trade (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1983), p. 62.

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Woman with Cutlass or Bill Hook, Peru, 1780s


   

Image Reference Trujillo_E44

Source Martinez Companon y Bujanda, Trujillo de Peru (Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispanica, 1978-1994; acsimile reproduction of manuscripts in the Biblioteca del Palacio Real de Madrid), vol. 2, plate E44

Comments Drawing simply identified as “Negra,” shows a black woman holding a bill hook or cutlass in one hand, a wooden staff in another; she appears to be wearing a long dress (or a skirt and chemise) that is sleeveless. This and hundreds of other drawings were done by unidentifed Indians during the 1780s and were commissioned by the Spanish Bishop Baltazar Jaime Martinez Companon during his pastoral visit to the region of Trujillo in northern Peru. The drawings, spread over nine volumes, are of Spaniards, Indians, plants and animals, as well plans and maps of the region. Only Vol. 2 contains a few pictures of blacks, the index to the volume giving very sparse information on each drawing. (See other images Trujillo on this website.)

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Effects of Punishment by Burning, Richmond, Virginia, 1866


   

Image Reference HW0045

Source Harper’s Weekly (July 28, 1866), p.477. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Comments Caption, “Marks of punishment inflicted upon a colored servant in Richmond, VA”; shows the back of woman with burn marks. The victim was thirteen years old when, for reasons unexplained in the article, she annoyed or upset her mistress. She was locked in a room by herself for over a week, during which time the mistress repeatedly burned her back. The mistress was arrested, but released on $ 5,000 bail. The original photograph is located in the Houghton Library at Harvard University (Wendell Phillips Papers, [bMSAm1953(942)]. In a letter from Richmond, dated July 6, 1866, which enclosed this photo, John Oliver wrote Wendell Philllips that although the photograph “is a very poor one . . . from it you will be able to see quite well the barbarism of Slavry [sic] as it now exist[s] in King William Co, Virginia in 1866. This girl with a twin Sister and their morthe [sic] lucy [sic] Richardson were Slaves to a Mr Henry Abrams, his wife, one of the most cruel tyrent [sic] read of in any age put out the left eye of the mother, and her constent [sic[ habit has been to take the Childr[e]n and burn their backs in the man[n]er which this picture explains, this chil[d] is now 16 years old and when brought to me, at the freedmen’s Court was too weak to walk with me 4 square to gete [sic[ something to eate[sic].” We are grateful to Margaret Abruzzo for bringing this letter to our attention and to Zachary Matus for his assistance with the transcription.

Elizabeth Freeman (a.k.a. Mumbat, Mum Bet), 1811


   

Image Reference I021

Source Original painting in the Massachusetts Historical Society

Comments A miniature (approx. 2″x3″) framed watercolor of face and upper torso. Born around 1742, it is unclear if Freemen was African, or born in New York state of African parents. She was purchased when young and became a servant in a Massachusetts household. After an incident of maltreatment, she left her owner and enlisted the aid of a Massachusetts antislavery lawyer, Thomas Sedgwick. He helped her win her freedom in 1772. She died in 1829 and was buried in a segregated section of the Stockbridge, Mass. graveyard. Her portrait was painted by Susan Sedgwick, Thomas’s daughter. For biographical details on Freeman’s life, see Harriet Martineau, Retrospect of Western Travel (New York, 1838), vol. 2, pp. 104-10. (slide of painting provided by the Massachsetts Historical Society)

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Phillis Wheatley, ca. 1773


   

Image Reference I024

Source Frontispiece of Wheatley’s collection, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (London, 1773). (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-628/40054)

Comments Copperplate engraving. Caption reads: “Phillis Wheatley, Negro servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston.” Born in present-day Gambia around 1753, little is known of Wheatley’s early life. When 7 or 8 years old, she was kidnapped and shipped from the Gambia to Boston; her purchasers named her Phillis after the ship that brought her to Massachusetts. Living in their household as a servant, she was permitted to learn to read, and not long after began writing poetry; her first published poem appeared in 1767. She left no account of her life in Africa or the middle passage, and her life ended sadly in Boston in 1784. Her portrait was done when she was about 20 years old.

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Portrait of a Black Woman, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ca. 1820


   

Image Reference IMG04

Source Painted by Augustus Earle (1793-1838); original in National Library of Australia, Canberra (nla.pic-an2822644)

Comments Water color on paper titled “Rita, a celebrated black beauty at Rio de Janeiro.” Rita may have been a free woman of color. The English painter, Earle, visited Rio de Janeiro in 1820.

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Portrait of a Black Woman, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ca. 1820

A Female House Servant, French West Indies (?), 1786


   

Image Reference NW0121

Source Painting held by McCord Museum, McGill University (slide M 12067)

Comments Oil painting by Francois Beaucourt, 1786. Although the portrait subject is not identified, she may have been the artist’s slave. (slide of painting, courtesy of McCord Museum)

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Rachel Pringle, Barbados, 1796


   

Image Reference NW0184

Source Illustration by Thomas Rowlandson, published by William Holland (London, 1796); engraving held by the Barbados Museum.

Comments Engraving of Pringle at the age of about 36 sitting in front of her hotel/tavern/house of prostitution in Bridgetown, capital of Barbados; man on left has elephantiasis. Rachel Pringle was born a slave around 1753, the daughter of an African woman and her master, a Scottish schoolmaster. In the 1770s, she became the first free woman of color to own a hotel-tavern (and house of prostitution) in Barbados; when she died in 1792, at the age of 38, she was a relatively wealthy woman. See Jerome S. Handler, Joseph Rachell and Rachael Pringle-Polgreen: Petty Entrepreneurs, in D.G. Sweet and G. B. Nash, eds., Struggle and Survival in Colonial America (Univ. of California Press, 1981), pp. 376-391. Slide of engraving, courtesy of the late Neville Connell, Director of the Barbados Museum.)

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Christian and Rebecca Protten, ca 1740-41


   

Image Reference Sensbach4

Source See Comments.

Comments Photo of oil painting (courtesy of Jon Sensbach) by Johann Valentin Haidt, held by the Moravian Archives (Unity Archives [Archiv der Bruder-Unitat]), Herrnhut (Germany). Christian Protten (1715-1769) and Rebecca (1718-1780), an ex-slave and Moravian convert were married in Germany in 1740; shown also is their child, Anna Maria Protten. For details on the lives of these people and this portrait in particular, see Jon Sensbach, Rebecca’s Revival (Harvard Univ. Press, 2005), 196-200 and passim; see also image reference Sensbach3

LINKS:

http://hitchcock.itc.virginia.edu/Slavery/search.html

1 Comment

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One response to “IMAGES

  1. Paul

    Great website, and wonderful images, especially the Steadmans. The pictures alone, even without the text, tell an informative story and history.

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