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John Brown's Blessing

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
1867
Medium: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
canvas: 84 1/4 x 60 1/4 in. ( 214 x 153 cm ) frame: 89 x 65 x 2 in. (226.1 x 165.1 x 5.1 cm)
Description: 
John Brown (1800-1859) of Osawatomie, being led to his execution at Charleston, Virginia, December 2, 1859. Brown stops to bless a young black child held forward by a kneeling mother. Two white children, accompanied by their black nurse, look on. Surrounded by soldiers, his arms bound, Brown stands tall and resolute but turns a gentle gaze on the child.
Credit Line: 
Gift of the children of Thomas S. Noble and Mary C. Noble, in their memory
Object Number: 
1939.250
Inscriptions: 
Inscribed on back of canvas: T. S. Noble and John Brown / by T. S. Noble / C[incinnati], U.S. A.
Gallery Label: 
In 1859, John Brown's planned slave uprising, raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia and subsequent execution galvanized the nation. Abolitionists celebrated him as a martyr to the antislavery cause while southern whites denounced him and his northern supporters. Thomas S. Noble's heroic life-size painting depicts Brown's apocryphal last act: kissing a slave child on the way to the gallows. To commemorate the eighth anniversary of Brown's execution, John Brown's Blessing was publicly exhibited in Boston, where it received a lukewarm reception. A local newspaper reported: "[The anniversary was] appropriately commemorated by the presentation to the Boston public of T. S. Noble's picture of Brown's passage to the Scaffold, when he stopped on his way to bless a negro child… Mr. Noble is a Southerner, and served in the rebel army four years, but he regarded the execution of Brown as one of the great historic events of the century, and has lost friends and position at home by representing SO unwelcome a matter to the South… We can hardly call it a great picture; yet there is much food for reflection and observation in it...."
Bibliography: 
Rasmussen, William M. S. and Robert S. Tilton. Lee and Grant. Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 2007. Holzer, Harold and The New-York Historical Society. "The Civil War in 50 Objects." New York: Viking, 2013.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1867
eMuseum Object ID: 
55251
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

The Game of Tight Rope

Classification: 
Date: 
1870
Medium: 
Cardboard, paper
Dimensions: 
overall (open): 9 1/4 x 11 1/8 in. ( 23.5 x 28.3 cm )
Description: 
"The Game of Tight Rope" bi-fold, paper covered cardboard game board; board chromolithographed with an image of four clowns crossing a tightrope above a river with a waterfall in the background, one man is falling into the river and two men are swimming out to a boat in the lower right corner, below tight rope is a numbered grid; board inscribed, "Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1870, by McLOUGHLIN BROS., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington./ GAME OF TIGHT ROPE."; Label on the revese of the board with a man walking on a tight rope and the inscription, "GAME OF/ TIGHT/ ROPE/ McLOUGHLIN BROS. NEW YORK."
Credit Line: 
The Liman Collection
Object Number: 
2000.723
Marks: 
lithographed: on the board: "Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1870, by McLOUGHLIN BROS., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington./ GAME OF TIGHT ROPE." Label on the revese of the board with a man walking on a tight rope and
Gallery Label: 
The Game of Tight Rope carries subtle references to America's post-Civil War Reconstruction (1865-1877). Players travel across a precarious rope bridge, trying to avoid plunging into the swift waters below. A nearby rescue boat, piloted by Uncle Sam, carries an African-American child representing the Freedmen's Bureau, an agency formed in 1865 to aid and protect newly freed blacks.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1870
eMuseum Object ID: 
44221
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Coverlet

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
1984
Medium: 
Cotton
Dimensions: 
Overall: 72 x 48 in. ( 182.9 x 121.9 cm )
Description: 
Red and white woven cotton coverlet or throw blanket made for the Society of the Preservation of Weeksville & Bedford-Stuyvesant History; central portrait of African-American woman; four corner reserves picturing Colored School #2; portrait of Rev. Edward C. Africanus; sign referring to James Weeks buying land in Brooklyn; and portrait of Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward. Banner above central portrait "SAVE THE MEMORIES OF SELF"; list of historic sites around outer edge; 2" red and white fringe.
Credit Line: 
Gift of the First AME Zion Church
Object Number: 
2001.25
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1984
eMuseum Object ID: 
43782
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Frances Wright (1795-1852)

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
1824
Medium: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
Overall: 16 5/8 x 12 3/4 in. ( 42.2 x 32.4 cm )
Credit Line: 
Purchase, The Abbott-Lenox and Foster-Jarvis funds, and the James S. Cushman Bequest
Object Number: 
1955.263
Gallery Label: 
A native of Scotland, the subject was orphaned as a child and raised in London. She came to America in 1818 with her sister, Camilla, and for two years toured the country. The result was a book, "Views of Society and Manners in America" (1821). In 1829 she settled permanently in New York. She became famous for her radical ideas on which she frequently lectured; she advocated equal rights for women, birth control, the abolition of slavery and capital punishment, and equalization of wealth.
Bibliography: 
The Annual Report of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1955, 1956, New York, frontispiece, p. 66. Catalogue of American Portraits in the New-York Historical Society, no. 1768, Vol. 2, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974, pp. 911-2. Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz, Attitudes toward Sex in Antebellum America, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006, p. 11.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1824
eMuseum Object ID: 
43272
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Mrs. Pierre Toussaint (ca. 1786-1851)

Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Date: 
ca. 1825
Medium: 
Watercolor on ivory
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3 1/4 x 2 5/8 in. ( 8.3 x 6.7 cm )
Description: 
N-YHS Museum Collection
Credit Line: 
Gift of Miss Georgina Schuyler
Object Number: 
1920.5
Gallery Label: 
Juliette Noel was married to Pierre Toussaint in 1811. She was the daughter of a nurse in a French family, and Toussaint purchased her freedom when she was fifteen.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1825
eMuseum Object ID: 
43198
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Pierre Toussaint (ca. 1781-1853)

Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Highlight: 
Display this item in the highlights
Date: 
ca. 1825
Medium: 
Watercolor on ivory
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3 1/4 x 2 5/8 in. ( 8.3 x 6.7 cm )
Credit Line: 
Gift of Miss Georgina Schuyler
Object Number: 
1920.4
Marks: 
signature: at the right: "Meucci"
Gallery Label: 
Born in slavery in Santo Domingo, Haiti, Pierre Toussaint was brought to New York about 1797 by Jean Bérard, a wealthy French landowner. When Bérard returned to Haiti and suddenly died, leaving his young widow in New York without means, Toussaint took care of her until her death. He supported her as well as his own family by becoming one of the most successful and fashionable hairdressers in New York City.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1825
eMuseum Object ID: 
43197
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Peter Williams (1750-1823)

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
ca. 1810-15
Medium: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
Overall: 25 x 20 1/4 in. ( 63.5 x 51.4 cm ) Frame: 30 1/4 x 25 1/8 x 1 7/8 in. (76.8 x 63.8 x 4.8 cm)
Credit Line: 
Source unknown
Object Number: 
X.173
Gallery Label: 
Williams, who was born a slave in New York, was an ardent Methodist and served as sexton of the John Street Methodist Church. He and his wife, née Mary Durham (1748-1821), were given their freedom in 1796 by the Methodist Society, and Williams subsequently operated a successful tobacconist shop on Liberty Street. He supported the establishment of the Zion Church for Negroes in 1801 and was one of the original trustees.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1810
eMuseum Object ID: 
43077
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Dred Scott (ca. 1795-1858)

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
After 1857
Medium: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
Overall: 28 x 25 in. ( 71.1 x 63.5 cm ) frame: 33 x 30 in. ( 83.8 x 76.2 cm )
Credit Line: 
Source unknown
Object Number: 
X.174
Gallery Label: 
Born of slave parents in Southampton County, Va., the subject entered the pages of American history as the key figure in the famed Dred Scott case of 1857, which determined that Scott, who had once resided in free territory, was not entitled to his freedom in the slave state of Missouri. This portrait was copied from a daguerreotype made of Scott and his family in St. Louis in early 1857, or from a woodcut based on it that was published in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper" and elsewhere.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1857
eMuseum Object ID: 
42587
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Plate

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
ca. 1946
Medium: 
Ceramic
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. ( 1.9 x 23.5 cm )
Description: 
White ceramic plate with a molded grapevine border, a gold-leaf rim and an image of the A. M. E. Zion Church transfer-printed in the center; chronology of the church printed on the underside of the plate.
Credit Line: 
Purchase
Object Number: 
2000.217
Marks: 
transfer-printed: on the obverse, below the image: "Mother A.M.E. Zion Church/ New York, New York" in gothic script transfer-printed: on the reverse: "Historical Facts of Our Church/ Founded A.D. 1796/ First Church built corner of Church and/ Leonard Str
Gallery Label: 
The ceramic plate commemorating the founding of the AME Zion Church may have been made around 1946, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the church. The Church has a long and distinguished history in New York, being amongst the earliest to provide a place of worship for New York's African-American population.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1946
eMuseum Object ID: 
42174
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Rev. Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)

Collections: 
Classification: 
Date: 
ca. 1875
Medium: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
Overall: 30 x 25 in. ( 76.2 x 63.5 cm )
Credit Line: 
Gift of Alice J. Strachan
Object Number: 
1950.213
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1875
eMuseum Object ID: 
41425
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

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Creative: Tronvig Group