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Swing Low: A Harriet Tubman memorial

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
2007
Medium: 
Cast bronze
Dimensions: 
Overall: 22 1/4 x 24 x 13 1/2 in. (56.5 x 61 x 34.3 cm)
Credit Line: 
Purchase
Object Number: 
2009.34
Gallery Label: 
The Harriet Tubman bronze figure was the model for the 13 foot high monument erected in Harlem at West 122nd St. and St. Nicholas Avenue in 2007. The installation was dedicated on November 13, 2008. Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, in Dorchester County Maryland 1822-1913) was a key figure in the movement of escaping slaves from South to North and Canada, and herself escaped from Maryland in 1849. She made an estimated 13 trips back South to help approximately 70 other people to escape. During the Civil War she became a scout, spy and nurse. She worked with the South Carolina Volunteers commanded by Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Colonel James Montgomery, and helped approximately 730 slaves on a rice plantation escape during a Union raid up the Combahee River in South Carolina. She later founded a home for African American aged people in Auburn New York, which is now a site commemorating her legacy, run for the AME Zion Church to which she belonged. This cast is number 3 of an edition of 9.
Date Begin: 
2007
Date End: 
2007
eMuseum Object ID: 
64912
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman

Collections: 
Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Highlight: 
Display this item in the highlights
Date: 
ca. 1869
Description: 
By Sarah H. Bradford (Sarah Hopkins), b. 1818.
Credit Line: 
New-York Historical Society Library
Object Number: 
LIB.CT.T8855.B7
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1874
eMuseum Object ID: 
64199
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Fred[erick] Douglass (1817-1895)

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
n.d.
Medium: 
Albumen print, carte-de-visite
Dimensions: 
Card: 8.9 x 5.4 cm (3 1/2 x 2 1/8 in.)
Credit Line: 
New-York Historical Society Library, Gift of Mr. Rodman Gilder
Object Number: 
PR.011.2
Bibliography: 
Holzer, Harold, ed. "Lincoln and New York." New York: The New-York Historical Society and London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., 2009. Holzer, Harold and The New-York Historical Society. "The Civil War in 50 Objects." New York: Viking, 2013.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
0
eMuseum Object ID: 
64198
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance

Collections: 
Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Date: 
1864
Medium: 
Albumen print mounted on card (Carte de Visite)
Description: 
Sojourner Truth
Credit Line: 
New-York Historical Society Library
Object Number: 
PR.011.5
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1864
eMuseum Object ID: 
64197
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Ceremonial New York City street sign for Frederick Douglass Landing

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
2005
Medium: 
Metal
Dimensions: 
Overall: 9 x 36 in. (22.9 x 91.4 cm)
Description: 
One-sided metal street sign, green with white lettering. "FREDERICK DOUGLASS / LANDING"; white upper and lower borders.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Jacob Morris and Barnestine Morris
Object Number: 
2006.25
Gallery Label: 
Jacob Morris, an independent scholar and educational consultant whose fields of interest include research into the Underground Railroad and work on a book currently titled Cold Fire: Exploring the Lives of Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Franklin, Malcolm X and Abraham Lincoln, was active in efforts to persuade New York City to rename a section of Chambers Street in honor of Frederick Douglass and his passage to freedom. Born a slave on a plantation in Maryland, Douglass succeeded in escaping from slavery in September 1838 after previous attempts had failed. Although his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, reveals how Douglass felt upon arriving and living in New York, it is intentionally silent about the details of his journey along the Underground Railroad and his place of landing. It has been determined, however, that after traveling by train and boat he arrived at the Chambers Street Dock, an area now comprised of landfill and the site of Stuyvesant High School. Working with residents of Battery Park City and Community Board #1, supporters of the street re-naming succeeded in their efforts when Mayor Bloomberg signed enabling legislation changing the names of forty-five streets and other public places on May 9, 2005. Frederick Douglass Landing street signs were posted on September 22, 2005.
Date Begin: 
2005
Date End: 
2005
eMuseum Object ID: 
61430
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Uncle Tom's Cabin [card game with box and 20 cards]

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
1852
Dimensions: 
box: 2 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 1/2 in., cards: 3 5/8 x 2 1/2 in.
Description: 
20 game cards; printed & illustrated green glossy paper labels mounted on upper and lower sides of cloth covered paper box; title & publisher within illustration on upper, directions within ornamental border on underside.
Credit Line: 
New-York Historical Society Library
Object Number: 
LIB.YC.1852.Uncle
Date Begin: 
1852
Date End: 
1852
eMuseum Object ID: 
60091
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Sojourner Truth Monument

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
1999
Medium: 
Bronze
Dimensions: 
Overall: 20 x 24 x 14 in. (50.8 x 61 x 35.6 cm)
Credit Line: 
Purchase
Object Number: 
2007.13
Date Begin: 
1999
Date End: 
1999
eMuseum Object ID: 
59955
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Thoughts of the Future (Thoughts of Liberia, Emancipation)

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
1861
Medium: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
Overall (unframed): 18 x 21 in. (45.7 x 53.3 cm) Overall (framed): 26 1/2 x 30 1/2 x 3 in. (67.3 x 77.5 x 7.6 cm)
Description: 
An African-American man, wrapped in brown coat and scarf, sits near a slightly dilapidated hearth, heating his kettle. In one hand is his cane, in the other a folded newspaper; his hat sits on the floor nearby. In the top right corner are his painter's tools. Pinned to the door is a poster marked "Hayti."
Credit Line: 
The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart, New-York Historical Society
Object Number: 
S-200
Gallery Label: 
The subject of this painting is probably a freeman, since most slaves were forbidden to read. The title informs us that the man's thoughts have wandered to Liberia, where the American Colonization Society was organizing a resettlement of freed slaves. The reference to "Hayti" is a reminder of the fight for freedom in that French colony, as well as the social and political turmoil that followed. Slaves in Haiti won their freedom in 1804, after a 13 year war against their French owners.
Bibliography: 
Holzer, Harold, ed. "Lincoln and New York." New York: The New-York Historical Society and London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., 2009.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1861
eMuseum Object ID: 
59122
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

The Fugitive's Story

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
September 7, 1869
Medium: 
Bronze
Dimensions: 
Overall: 21 7/8 x 16 x 12 in. ( 55.6 x 40.6 x 30.5 cm )
Description: 
Genre figure: This bronze sculptural group in bronze depicts three of the most prominent leaders in the anti-slavery movement--poet John Greenleaf Whittier, Brooklyn clergyman Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe) and the editor of the Boston abolitionist newspaper the "Liberator" William Lloyd Garrison-- grouped around a small desk, listening intently to a young mother with an infant in her arms telling of her daring escape from slavery. Patent # 3657: September 7 1869
Credit Line: 
Purchase
Object Number: 
1936.630
Marks: 
signed: proper left front of base: "JOHN ROGERS/NEW YORK" inscribed: front of base: "THE FUGITIVE'S STORY/JOHN G WHITTIER-H. G. BEECHER-Wm LLOYD GARRISON" inscribed: proper right back of base: "PATENTED/SEPT 7. 1869"
Gallery Label: 
This bronze served as the master model for the plasters that Rogers sold to a broad audience of middle-class Americans. Rogers built his early fame on his Civil War subjects, and after the conflict ended, he produced a few final groups memorializing some of its most important figures. The Council of War (1952.334, 1925.42, 1936.657) depicts its highest military officials: General Ulysses S. Grant, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and President Abraham Lincoln. In The Fugitive's Story Rogers paid tribute to leaders of the abolitionist movement: the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, the editor William Lloyd Garrison, and the preacher Henry Ward Beecher. Rogers' biographer, David Wallace, called it a "civilian counterpart" to The Council of War. The artist's last Civil War subject, The Fugitive's Story offered a perfect bookend to his acclaimed series, returning as it did to his beginnings. Rogers' first Civil War-related subject was The Slave Auction of 1859 (1928.28), which condemned the evils of slavery in the days leading up to the war, and his last Civil War group memorialized the triumph of the abolitionist cause. The three men are gathered around a desk listening to the tale of a slave who has escaped to the North with her baby. A small bundle containing her worldly possessions lies at her feet, and she clasps her child to her shoulder. Her head is inclined toward Garrison, seated at his desk, and all three men gaze at her with expressions of deep interest and concern, likewise drawing the viewer's eye to her earnest face. Whittier (at left) and Garrison (at right) hold papers that suggest their role as writers in the fight against slavery; Rogers further emphasizes the point with the inkpot and papers on Garrison's desk. The artist often incorporated portraits into his narrative groups, but this is the only instance in which he inscribed the names of the sitters on the base to make his subject perfectly clear. The story reportedly had a powerful effect on the former slave Sojourner Truth: the abolitionist newspaper the Independent reported that when she saw the work, she burst into tears, remembering her own escape with her small child. Rogers' own convictions about abolition are evidenced in the time and care that he took preparing the group, and in his later memories of it. The artist wrote to Beecher and secured his enthusiastic approval for the idea. He interviewed each of his three sitters and took detailed measurements, secured photographs, and even took life masks of Beecher and Garrison. Both men wrote to Rogers with suggestions for the composition and for his portrayals of them. There were reports from all three that they were satisfied with the likenesses; Garrison called the sculpture "a marked success, both in regard to the likenesses and as a work of art." William Cullen Bryant wrote to Rogers in relation to The Fugitive's Story, "You have succeeded in a higher degree than almost any artist in making sculpture a narrative art." Public reaction was equally enthusiastic, and critics were quick to connect this valedictory work with Rogers' humble The Slave Auction of little more than a decade earlier, when he could not induce stores to carry the sculpture for fear of offending their Southern customers. The subject apparently had strong poetic resonances for his viewers. Rogers was compared to Whittier, the poet he portrayed, with one commentator declaring, "What Whittier is in verse Rogers is in sculpture." The Boston Advertiser called the group "a perfect poem of our history." Yet another writer connected it with efforts to establish a colony for former slaves in Liberia, in western Africa, writing a poem from the point of view of the fugitive as a wife looking forward to a reunion with her husband, who was preparing a home for them there. Rogers considered The Fugitive's Story an important landmark in his oeuvre. Nearly twenty years later, in an 1887 interview for the New York Herald, Rogers related tales of his time with Beecher and Garrison preparing for this work, and in an 1890 article that Rogers authored for the New York Times, he wrote at length about his process in developing the sculpture, quoting his correspondence with Whittier and Garrison. He may well have been indirectly promoting a more recent work, a figure of Beecher that he created from the life mask, photographs, and measurements that he used for The Fugitive's Story as a memorial when Beecher died in 1887 (1937.35).
Bibliography: 
Articles, Scrapbooks of miscellaneous clippings, etc. about John Rogers, Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, New York Historical Society. Daily Evening Transcript, Boston, May 16, 1871, n.p. The Evening Post, New York, Dec. 21, 1873, p. 1. Barck, Dorothy, "Rogers Group in the Museum of the New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. XVI, No. 3, October 1932, p. 76. Smith, Mrs. and Mrs. Chetwood, Rogers Groups: Thought and Wrought by John Rogers, Boston: Charles E. Goodspeed & Co., 1934, pp. 74-5. Wallace, David H., John Rogers, The People's Sculptor, Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1967, pp. 108, 111, 126, 135, 150, 221-3, 256, 275-6, 278, 286-7, 294, 304. Craven, Wayne, Sculpture in America, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1968, pp. 357-366. Wallace, David H., "The Art of John Rogers: So Real and So True," American Art Journal, November 1972, pp. 59-70. Boime, Albert, The Art of Exclusion: Representing Blacks in the Nineteenth Century, Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990, pp. 104-5, 188-99, 232, 238. Bleier, Paul and Meta, John Rogers Statuary, Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2001, pp. 116-7.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1869
eMuseum Object ID: 
56747
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Pitcher

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
1818
Medium: 
Silver
Dimensions: 
Overall: 11 1/8 x 5 1/2 x 4 7/8 in. ( 28.3 x 14 x 12.4 cm ) Silver Weight: 42 oz (troy) 17 dwt (1333 g)
Description: 
One of a pair of wrought silver presentation pitchers; ovoid-shaped bodies with large chased ovoid flutes; each on an oval foot with molded footrings; applied oval necks with short, broad pouring lips, low on the sides; molded bands applied around the rims; cast double-scroll handles applied to the back of each; circular engraving on the front of each of Liberty freeing the Slaves, she holds a liberty pole topped by a liberty cap and is removing shackles from the arms of two slaves, a freed slave reading and Joseph Curtis raising a mirror to reflect the the rays of the sun rising over mountains in the background; engraved below the vignettes, "Act. 31.st March 1817/ Manumission Society of New York/ Joseph Curtis" in roman letters and script; maker's marks stamped on the base.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Clive Mecklem
Object Number: 
1928.23a
Marks: 
engraved: below the vignettes: "Act. 31.st March 1817/ Manumission Society of New York/ Joseph Curtis" in roman letters and script stamped: on the bases: "J. Sayre" in script in conforming rectangles, twice
Gallery Label: 
Engraved beneath the spout of each of these pitchers is a powerful scene representing the Goddess of Liberty freeing young slaves from their shackles. The pitchers were presented by the New York Manumission Society to Joseph Reuben Curtis (1782-1856) in 1818 as a testimonial to his tireless efforts in persuading the state legislature to pass an act mandating the end of slavery in New York. Curtis had a long and productive philanthropic career dedicated to emancipation and education. He cited his work securing passage of the Manumission Act in 1817 as one of the happiest events of his life.
Provenance: 

Joseph Reuben Curtis (1782-1856), who married Dorothy Hopkins (1778-1858); to their daughter Ella Maria Curtis (1816-1893), who married Lewis Gaylord Clark (1808-1873); to their daughter Mary Dakin Clark (1838-1916), who married George Green Mecklem (1834-ca. 1913); to their son Clive Mecklem (1865-1928), the donor.

Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1818
eMuseum Object ID: 
56058
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

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Creative: Tronvig Group