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Free Negroes in the North

Free Negroes in the North
Artist
Adalbert John Volck, 14 Apr 1828 - 26 Mar 1912
Sitter
Henry Ward Beecher, 24 Jun 1813 - 8 Mar 1887
Date
1864
Type
Print
Medium
Transfer lithograph on paper
Dimensions
Image: 14.2 × 18.2 cm (5 9/16 × 7 3/16")
Sheet: 24.1 × 30.8 cm (9 1/2 × 12 1/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.79.95.W
Exhibition Label
In this sketch Volck satirizes the lives of "free negroes" in the North. The well-dressed man in the center offers a tract on slavery to a beggar instead of alms, while nearby, a physician bargains with two black men over a dead body, probably to be used for dissection. They stand just outside a "Colored Home," in which scenes of riot and orgy are taking place. Volck, in the most graphic way, raised questions that seemed to ask if free blacks in the North were really better off than slaves in the South.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection