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Gordon sic Under Medical Inspection

Gordon sic Under Medical Inspection
Alternate Title
Peter (frequently identified as “Gordon”)
Attribution
Vincent Colyer, 1825 - 1888
Copy after
McPherson & Oliver, active 1862 - 1865
Sitter
Gordon
Peter
Unidentified Man
Date
1863
Type
Print
Medium
Wood engraving
Dimensions
Sheet: 40.4 × 28cm (15 7/8 × 11")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6cm (22 × 16")
Topic
Newspaper
Illustration
Unidentified Man: Male
Peter: Male
Peter: Society and Social Change\Enslaved person
Gordon: Male
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.2012.78
Exhibition Label
Birthplace unknown
Published on Independence Day, 1863, in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, this issue of Harper’s Weekly featured several articles concerning recent action in the field by African Americans fighting for the Union cause. One such article, titled “A Typical Negro” told the harrowing story of a man, identified by the author as “Gordon,” who escaped his enslavement on a plantation.
Seeking refuge with Union troops at Baton Rouge, he was “mustered into the service” as “a U.S. Soldier.” The article was accompanied by three engravings said to represent “Gordon’s” metamorphosis from ragged fugitive to soldier.
Recent research has revealed that Harper’s Weekly conflated the stories of at least two fugitives from bondage—Gordon and Peter—and inaccurately reported or fictionalized aspects of their respective stories. It has also been determined that the engravings illustrating the article are based on photographs of three different men rather than one individual.
Lugar de nacimiento desconocido
Publicado el Día de la Independencia en 1863, justo después de la Batalla de Gettysburg, este número de Harper’s Weekly contiene varios artículos sobre la reciente actuación en combate de los afroamericanos que luchaban por la Unión. Uno de estos escritos, titulado “Un negro típico”, contaba la historia desgarradora de un hombre, identificado como “Gordon”, que había escapado de su cautiverio en una plantación. Buscando refugio con las tropas de la Unión en Baton Rouge, fue “alistado en el servicio” como “soldado de EE.UU.”. El artículo iba acompañado de tres grabados que se decía representaban la metamorfosis de “Gordon” de fugitivo harapiento a soldado.
Estudios recientes han revelado que Harper’s Weekly combinó las historias de al menos dos fugitivos —Gordon y Peter— y reportó incorrectamente o ficcionalizó aspectos de las mismas. También se ha determinado que los grabados están basados en fotografías de tres hombres distintos.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 111
Exhibition
Civil War Gallery Rehang
On View
NPG, East Gallery 111