Male Household Servant, Virginia, early 1850s

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This record was last updated on 10 Feb 2017

Image Reference

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, vol. 12 (Jan. 1856), p. 178.

David Hunter Strother was a widely known and popular mid- 19th century American graphic artist and writer, originally from Virginia/West Virginia. Under the pen name “Porte Crayon” he wrote and illustrated “Virginia Illustrated, Adventures of Porte Crayon and His Cousins,” a narrative of the experiences of several travelers through central Virginia in late 1853 (see Cecil Eby, Porte Crayon: the life of David Hunter Strother [Chapel Hill, 1960]); the series appeared in five parts over 1854-56 in Harpers New Monthly Magazine. The illustration shown here is from this series. Travelling through Amherst County in Central Virginia, the author reports on an elderly male household servant, “Billy” who polished his boots, and provided his opinions on how the manufacture of boots had changed since his youth (pp. 177-179). See also references, HARP01, HARP03.