For this image, the author described stopping for a meal at a house in Amherst County, Central Virginia, whereby “the cook belongs to the type of a class whose skill is not of books or training, but a gift both rich and rare. . . who has grown sleek and fat on the steam of her own genius, whose children have the first dip in all gravies, the exclusive right to all livers and gizzards, not to mention breasts of fried chickens” (p. 176). David Hunter Strother (1816–1888) was a successful magazine illustrator and writer, popularly known by his pseudonym, "Porte Crayon." He rose through the ranks of the union army to Brevet Brigadier General. For Virginia Illustrated, he wrote and illustrated “Adventures of Porte Crayon and His Cousins,” which was a narrative of the experiences of several travelers through central Virginia in late 1853. The series then appeared in five parts in Harpers New Monthly Magazine between 1854 and 1856. See Cecil Eby, Porte Crayon: The Life of David Hunter Strother (Chapel Hill, 1960); and also images HARP02 and HARP03.
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 12 (Jan. 1856), p. 177.
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"The Cook", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed May 7, 2021, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/520