Sherman Black Hawk


A black and white print of a black stallion running on a hastily erected race track, pulling a sulky. The rider is in a vest, tight pants, a white shirt, and a Homberg hat. The horse’s neck is disproportionately wide. The center of ring contains two center pole tents with banners which read M…RSHAL and PR…DENT. A judge’s stand is in a circular grandstand with cone-shaped roof and American flag. Spectators line the periphery. The flag in the center of grounds is labeled: US Cr… Society. The scene is the US Agricultural Fair held in West Philadelphia on October 8, 1856.

Sherman Black Hawk was foaled on May 30, 1845 in Bridport, Vermont. He was sired by Black Hawk and Smith Mare, both Morgans, and owned by B.J. Myrick. He was a direct descendent of the founding Sire of the Morgan breed, “Figure” owned by Justin Morgan. At 15.2 hands, Sherman Black Hawk was reputed to be spirited, compact, and well made, and he could trot a mile in 2:40. This enabled him to win first place at both the Vermont State Fair in 1854 and the US Agricultural Fair in Pennsylvania (pictured here) in 1856. The man in the picture is thought to be Hiram Woodruff, a well-known and successful driver of the time. 50,000 attended the race at the 1856 Agricultural Fair in West Philadelphia, PA. Temporary open stands were constructed to seat up to 8,000 people, but people also flooded the infield to watch the main racing attractions.

Date Made: n.d.

Maker: Bufford, John HenryOriginal Artist: Humphrey, Charles S.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, BostonDepicted: United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Subject: Expositions and FairsDepicted: HorsesHorse RacingSubject: WagonsRelated Event: U.S. Agricultural Fair


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Domestic Life, Popular Entertainment, Clothing & Accessories, Sports & Leisure, Art, Peters Prints, Domestic Furnishings, Horses


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: DL.60.3529Catalog Number: 60.3529

Object Name: lithographObject Type: Lithograph

Measurements: image: 21 in x 29 1/2 in; 53.34 cm x 74.93 cm


Record Id: nmah_325763

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