Views of Slavery

Views of Slavery

Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
This abolitionist broadsides depicts six scenes revealing the cruelty and injustice of American slavery. These scenes include: enslaved women working in the field while their children are left alone; a freedwoman and her child watching as their free papers are destroyed by a man who has kidnapped them from the street; enslaved men being whipped and beaten; an enslaved woman watching as her child is taken away from her and sold; a slave auction; and a shipment of slaves being loading onto a ship at Baltimore bound for New Orleans. Above the images, the broadside challenges how slaveholders could see their slaves as people but not adhere to the rule of “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.” Below the images, a quote from Unitarian preacher William Ellery Channing argues that keeping a man enslaved is just as much a crime as reducing him to slavery.
The print was produced and distributed by the Emancipator, a weekly newspaper published by the American Anti-Slavery Society. The Society was an abolitionist activist group founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan in 1833, which had gained between 150,000 and 200,000 members by 1840. The Society held public meetings, printed vast quantities of anti-slavery propaganda (such as this piece), petitioned Congress, and sponsored lecturers to further the cause of the Abolition Movement in the North. Its membership was composed of white Northerners with religious and/or philanthropic convictions, but also free black citizens, including Frederick Douglass, who often delivered first-hand accounts of his life as a slave during the Society’s public meetings.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Lithograph
Object Type
Lithograph
Date made
ca 1835
date made
ca 1836
maker
unknown
place made
World
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
Measurements
image: 9 7/8 in x 8 3/4 in; 25.0825 cm x 22.225 cm
ID Number
DL.60.3489
catalog number
60.3489
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
subject
Children
Reform Movements
Blacks
Furnishings
Civil War
Slavery
abolitionism
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Clothing & Accessories
Domestic Furnishings
Art
American Civil War Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object