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

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Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
Cade, J. J.
Creator:
Sheppard, William Ludwell, 1833-1912
Creator:
A. D. Worthington & Co.
Title:
"Prayer Meeting in a Contraband Camp – Washington, 1862" Steel Engraving
Collection No.:
SC 0060
Date:
Extent:
1 letter folder, .06 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
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.

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.

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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.

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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?'"

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Arrangement

The engraving is housed in one letter folder.

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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).

Acquisition Information

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

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • Steel engravings (visual works)

Subject

  • African Americans -- History -- To 1863
  • Fugitive slaves -- United States -- Social conditions -- History -- 19th century
  • Prayer in art
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--African Americans

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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.

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
"Prayer Meeting in a Contraband Camp – Washington, 1862" Steel Engraving, 1887 box 1 folder 1