A Guide to the

“Prayer Meeting in a Contraband Camp – Washington, 1862” Steel Engraving, 1887

SC 0060

Compiled by: Tiffany Cole, February 2017

 

Descriptive Summary

 

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: “Prayer Meeting in a Contraband Camp – Washington, 1862” Steel Engraving, 1887

Collection No.: SC 0060
Creator: J. J. Cade (Engraver), William Ludwell Sheppard (Artist), A. D. Worthington & Co. (Publisher)

Extent: 1 letter folder; .06 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The “Prayer Meeting in a Contraband Camp – Washington, 1862” Steel Engraving, 1887, is comprised of one 5 ¼ x 8 ¾ inch engraving featuring imagery of African-American worshippers, crowded into a small dark cabin. The prayer meeting attendees are depicted as singing, clapping, dancing, stomping their feet, and generally moving about energetically with arms uplifted.

 

Administrative Information

 

Access Restrictions: Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], [box #, folder #], “Prayer Meeting in a Contraband Camp – Washington, 1862” Steel Engraving, 1887, SC 0060, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: James Madison University Special Collections acquired this item at auction from Cohasco, Inc. in January 2016.

Bio/Historical Note:
William Ludwell Sheppard (1833-1912) was born in Richmond, Virginia and served with the Richmond Howitzers in the Army of Northern Virginia. He was a watercolorist, illustrator, teacher, and painter who began his career as a tobacco label illustrator. He has been credited with providing valuable imagery of the American South, including the African-American experience, and the Civil War. Other similar works include: “The First African Church, Richmond, Virginia – Interior of the Church, from the Western Wing” (1874), “Negroes Hiding in the Swamps of Louisiana” (1873), and “The Sunny South – a Negro Revival Meeting – a Seeker ‘Getting Religion’” (1873).

A contraband camp refers to an encampment set up near Union forces during the American Civil War by certain escaped slaves who allied with the Union.

Scope and Content:
The “Prayer Meeting in a Contraband Camp – Washington, 1862” Steel Engraving, 1887, is comprised of one 5 ¼ x 8 ¾ inch engraving featuring imagery of African-American worshippers, crowded into a small dark cabin. The prayer meeting attendees are depicted as singing, clapping, dancing, stomping their feet, and generally moving about energetically with arms uplifted. Printed on the bottom border: “Oh I'm gwine home to glory--won't yer go along wid me, Whar de blessed angels beckon, an' de Lor' my Saviour be?'"

Arrangement:
The engraving is housed in one letter folder.

Bibliography:
“William Sheppard.” Artist Biography for William Sheppard. Accessed February 21, 2017. http://www.askart.com/artist_bio/William_Ludwell_Ludlow_Sheppard/29605/William_Ludwell_Ludlow_Sheppard.aspx.

Contents:

Folder Title Box : Folder
“Prayer Meeting in a Contraband Camp – Washington, 1862” Steel Engraving, 1887 1:1