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American ABC: Childhood in 19th-Century America

November 2, 2006 - January 7, 2007

 

American ABC: Childhood in 19th-Century America, one of the most comprehensive exhibitions in recent decades to deal with American childhood, will be on view at the Portland Museum of Art November 2, 2006 through January 7, 2007. The exhibition features approximately 110 works by such American artists as Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, George Catlin, Eastman Johnson, and Lilly Martin Spencer.

Over the course of the 19th century, the United States grew from an infant republic to a powerful nation with a prominent place in world affairs. American ABC demonstrates how portrayals of the nation's youngest citizens took on an important symbolic role in the United States' long journey towards maturity, and it provides a window into the everyday life of the period-the world of families, children's pastimes, and the routines of the schoolhouse. By linking the forces of transformation-urbanization, war, technology, territorial expansion-to portrayals of childhood, American ABC will provide special insight into the development of the United States.

American ABC encompasses six themes that address the most important issues in 19th-century America. The Country Boy discusses the agrarian ideals of American democracy and the definition of manhood, and Daughters of Liberty examines the roles assigned to the nation's future wives and mothers. Children of Bondage and The Ragamuffin deal with the issues of slavery and immigration, while the situation of Native Americans is the subject of The Papoose. Concluding the themes, The New Scholar considers contemporary attitudes toward education and the idea that a system of public schools could unite the many peoples of America.

Using paintings, prints, photographs, and books selected from major museums, libraries, archives, and private collections throughout the United States, American ABC explores the connection between images of the American child and the democratic ideals of the young United States. The exhibition includes a wide variety of illustrated children's books from the 19th century, such as Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Noah Webster's Elementary Spelling Book, McGuffey's readers, and colorful ABC primers, as well as other materials such as needlework, children's crockery, and illustrated magazines.

The exhibition's companion book, written by Claire Perry, Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center, and published by Yale University Press, expands on the themes of the exhibition and presents new research on the social and economic significance of childhood in 19th-century America. The companion book will be available in the Museum Store.

The exhibition was organized by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University. The exhibition, accompanying catalogue, and related programs are made possible by the generosity of Carmen Christensen with additional support from Peter and Helen Bing, the Hohbach Family Fund, and Cantor Arts Center members. This exhibition has been generously sponsored by UnumProvident.

 


Text panels for the exhibition

Americans of the 19th century were keenly aware of their role as the heirs of the Founding Fathers and the guardians of a new nation "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Guided by the advice of the Revolutionary generation, they believed that the health of the republic depended on the creation of a virtuous citizenry ready to assume the responsibilities of self-government. As political leaders, editors, novelists, ministers, and educators debated ways to enlighten and uplift the body politic, the nurture and education of children became a dominant theme in public life. Children came to be seen as the key to the nation's longevity and the guarantee that the United States' democratic institutions would endure. In an environment charged with both optimism and anxiety about the future, images of children in paintings, prints, advertisements, schoolbook illustrations, and photographs helped to provide citizens with a sense of the underlying stability of their society. Many of these pictures showed idealized children in rural settings, confirming that the agrarian class Thomas Jefferson had called the bedrock of the nation was renewing itself in the nation's abundant open spaces. Other portrayals openly confronted the most contentious issues of the day-urban poverty, racial inequality, immigration, industrialization-and reduced them to reassuringly Lilliputian proportions.

Though most portrayals of children emanated from the northeastern United States, these images had broad appeal across the nation. Audiences with varying class and regional alignments enjoyed Currier and Ives prints of roly poly toddlers and playful farm boys. As advances in printing technology increased the availability of publications for and about children, Americans also eagerly bought ABC books and primers published by Noah Webster and William McGuffey, and child care manuals by recognized authorities. This community of shared interests centering on the child transcended the partisan, geographic, and economic barriers that impeded the growth of a sense of national identity. During the course of the century, the culture of childhood became an important part of the processes through which the fragmented assembly of states that existed before the Civil War became the singular United States- a nation with an increasingly centralized government that defined itself by the motto: "E Pluribus Unum."

 

The Country Boy

The United States of the 19th century was a young nation and its citizens were also youthful. In 1830, one third of the population was less than ten years old and the median age was 16. Eager to define who they were as a people and to show that their nation was different-and better-than the nations of the Old World, Young America asserted its identity through patriotic ballads, novels about frontier adventures, political satires, and pictures that described typical citizens of the republic.

The Country Boy was one of the new national types to emerge in the imagery of this period and a figure that became a commonplace subject for fine paintings exhibited in New York galleries as well as prints that decorated middle-class parlors. Forthright and full of energy, the Country Boy embodied the simple virtues that citizens associated with their fledgling democracy. American audiences applauded the Country Boy's independent spirit, which often manifested itself as a healthy disregard for the authority of teachers, parents, and clergymen. Over the course of the century, the Country Boy came to represent not only the nation's political and social freedoms, but also the unpretentiousness and flair for invention that Americans believed was the essence of the national character.

That the safety of the republic depends on the virtue of the people is a truth that cannot be too assiduously taught; and that it is the business of the young, as well as the old, to help on the cause of goodness, cannot be too strongly impressed.
 
- Catherine M. Sedgewick, The Boy of Mount Rhigi, 1849
 
Begin with the infant in his cradle.
Let the first word he lisps be WASHINGTON.
 
- Noah Webster, An American Selection of Lessons in Reading and Speaking, 1789
 
Joey was a country boy,
Father's help and mother's joy:
In the morning he rose early,­­
That's what made his hair so curly;
Early went to bed at night, ­­
That's what made his eyes so bright;
Ruddy as a red-cheeked apple;
Playful as his pony Dapple;
Even the nature of the rose
Wasn't quite as sweet as Joe's.
 
- The Nursery: A Monthly Magazine for Youngest Readers, 1878

 

Daughters of Liberty

During the 19th century, the belief in "separate spheres" of the genders in behavior, work, and creative expression shaped the boundaries of American society. Males were identified with exploration, inventiveness, and enterprise, while females were thought to be naturally inclined toward patience, kindness, thrift, and other virtues that revolved around the home. Praised by political leaders and ministers as creatures of superior moral influence, females were appointed the guardians of the nation's democracy. They were encouraged to act as moral guides for their brothers and husbands and, though they did not have the right to vote themselves, were charged with the nurture and education of future voters.

While citizens mapped out the separate territories of males and females, pictures of American girls became a pervasive presence on magazine covers, billboards, soap labels, calling cards, and in newspapers and art galleries. Depictions of girlhood generally adhered to a narrow range of subjects: gathering flowers and fruits, sewing, cooking, playing with pets, minding siblings, and other tasks that represented the routines of domestic life-as well as the parameters of the female sphere. For male citizens who were busy directing their energies to the work of state-building, images of little embroiderers, flower girls, and pie-makers promised that westward expansion and free enterprise would go hand-in-hand with well managed households and delicious dinners served on time.

In this land of precarious fortunes, every girl should know how to be useful.
 
- Lydia Maria Child, The Girl's Own Book, 1834
 
 

Children of Bondage

Pictures of African-American children were widely popular during the 19th century, and they were viewed and purchased by audiences representing a broad range of regional and political backgrounds. Drawing on an extensive repertory of stereotypes built up since colonial times, portrayals of African-American children were also inspired by depictions in contemporary literature and minstrel theater. By the 1850s, when debates over slavery reached a fever pitch across the land, the image of the black child had become a charged subject that aroused deep emotions in Americans from both the North and the South. Abolitionist tracts included images and stories about infants on the auction block, while pro-slavery authors published books with illustrations of contented slave youngsters playing on plantations. Even artists hoping to steer clear of racial controversies created paintings of African-American children and exhibited them in the elite galleries of New York and Philadelphia -- as if the innocence of those portrayed might somehow transcend the ugliness of the struggle that culminated with the Civil War.

I was seldom whipped by my old master, and suffered little from anything else than hunger and cold. I suffered much from hunger, but much more from cold. In hottest summer and coldest winter, I was kept almost naked-no shoes, no stockings, no jacket, no trousers, nothing on but a coarse tow linen shirt, reaching only to my knees . . . .
Our food was coarse corn meal called mush. It was put into a large wooden tray or trough, and set down on the ground . . . He that ate fastest got most; he that was strongest secured the best place; and few left the trough satisfied.
 
- Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, 1845

 

I is the Infant, from the arms
Of its fond mother torn
And, at public auction, sold
With horses, cows, and corn.. . . .
 
Q is the Quarter, where the slave
On coarsest food is fed,
And where, with toil and sorrow worn,
He seeks his wretched bed.
 
- The Anti-Slavery Alphabet, 1847

 

Ragamuffin

In the second quarter of the 19th century, a new theme emerged in American art, one that had appeared only rarely in paintings, books, and journals before that time: the ragamuffin. Where images of country boys, little ladies, and slave children dealt with beliefs about democracy, males and females, and race that had been prevalent since the days of the Revolution, the street child was a novel subject. For most Americans, the realization that a mass of impoverished "street arabs" roved the nation's cities was shocking and incomprehensible. Citizens at mid-century were astonished by published statistics that revealed the exponential growth of American cities-and troubled by the fact that much of it was driven by skyrocketing rates of immigration. More than 1.5 million European immigrants arrived in the United States between 1840 and 1850. During the 1850s an additional 2.5 million immigrants came to the United States, and most settled in the large cities of the northeast.

When depictions of street children first began to creep into visual and literary media in the 1830s and 1840s, civic authorities in Boston and New York had already been busy for decades trying to deal with large-scale homelessness in their cities. Americans grew accustomed to seeing little ragamuffins, both on city streets and in pictures displayed in homes and art galleries. For audiences disturbed by newspaper accounts documenting the growing problem of poverty in America's cities, pictures of vagrant children represented a way to fathom the troublesome issue of scarcity in a land of abundance.

 

The Little Chimney Sweep
 
Some time ago there was a little chimney sweep, who had to sweep a chimney in the house of a very rich lady. The little sweep went up at the kitchen fireplace, and came down in the chamber. When he got into the chamber he found himself all alone. He stopped a moment to look around at the rich furniture. As he looked on the top of the table, he saw an elegant gold watch, with gold seals to it. He had never seen anything so beautiful before, and he took it into his hands. As he listened to hear it tick, it began to play sweet music. He then thought, if it only belonged to him, how rich he would be. He thought he might hide it in his blanket.
 
More About the Little Chimney Sweep
 
While the little sweep boy was thinking about taking the lady's gold watch, he felt cold all over, and trembled with fear.
"No," said he, "I cannot take this watch. I would rather be a sweep and always be poor, than steal." He laid the watch down, and crept up the chimney.
 
- William H. McGuffey, McGuffey's Eclectic First Reader, 1836
 

The Papoose

Until the final decades of the 19th century, Native American children were an uncommon subject in the artworks and popular images that were disseminated around the country. Even artists who specialized in Indian themes gave native children only the most cursory treatment in their works. The prevalent notion that America's original inhabitants were a people doomed to extinction by progress may have discouraged portrayals of a thriving new generation of Native Americans. At the same time, the remoteness of many native settlements made it difficult for artists to observe tribal family life.

The publicity surrounding the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which mandated that all Native Americans living east of the Mississippi move west of the Mississippi, heightened artists' interest in documenting all aspects of Indian society. During the 1830s and 1840s, a group of artist-explorers, including George Catlin and John Mix Stanley, traveled extensively to make visual accounts of tribes pushed westward by development. Still, artists' representations of domestic scenes that included children were usually outnumbered by pictures of buffalo hunts and tribal warfare, reflecting the taste of eastern audiences for such subjects.

After the completion of the transcontinental railroad line in 1869, Indian children began to appear more frequently in paintings, magazine illustrations, advertisements, and documentary photographs. The papoose in particular emerged as an icon of peaceful tribal life -- and a preview of the exotic sights that travelers could expect to see on tourist excursions to the west. At the same time, artists' new awareness of Indian youth was linked to the American public's call for changes in the federal government's Indian policies during the 1880s and 1890s. Much of the newly enacted reform legislation of this period centered on the welfare of Native American children.

Do you know that the very place where Boston now stands, was once covered with woods, and that in those woods lived many Indians? Did you ever see an Indian?. . . The Indians go nearly naked, except in winter. Their skin is not white like ours, but reddish, or the color of copper. When I was a boy, there were a great many that lived at no great distance from Boston. They lived in little huts or houses called Wigwams. . . The Indians had no chairs to sit in, nor tables to eat from. They had no books to read, and had no churches or meeting houses. In winter, they sometimes wore skins of bears and deer, which they shot with bows and arrows, or with guns.
 
- Samuel Griswold Goodrich. The Tales of Peter Parley, About America, 1827.
 

The New Scholar

Pictures of children in school, and the lessons in textbooks read by schoolchildren across the United States, embodied American ideas about the privileges and responsibilities of a democratic government. Paintings and lithographs of school subjects tended to celebrate childhood freedoms, reveling in anarchic classrooms, happy truants, and the joys of recess frolics. Schoolbooks, on the other hand, were dominated by themes of regularity, industry, and obedience. The divide between artworks' rowdy egalitarianism and the reverence for tradition expressed in educational publications was a symptom of the nation's longstanding ambivalence about schooling. Americans often associated education with the high-falutin' habits of the upper crust. Many "self-made" citizens wore their lack of cultivation as a patriotic emblem -- proof of their contempt for Old Word pomp and circumstance.

Nevertheless, during the first half of the century, Americans across the country came to embrace the idea of public education and to believe that "common" schooling was the birthright of the youngest generation. They praised education as a great common denominator, one that had the power to bring into harmony the disparate voices of America's far-flung populace. At the same time, many citizens remained unconvinced that schools could fulfill their lofty mission of uniting the nation. They were also wary of new school-related taxes and the new powers the government had assumed to organize a nationwide school system. As debates about how and when children should be educated flared up, Americans were forced to ponder deeply the meaning of democracy -- and to back up their convictions with their votes and their pocketbooks.

Artists responded to the American public as it grappled with the subject of public education, offering audiences a peek inside the classrooms and schoolyards where country boys and girls, immigrant children, former slaves, and young tribespeople were busy learning arithmetic and reciting their ABCs. Their works helped to show that little scholars across the country were earning their right to claim the privileges of citizenship, and gave substance to the Founding Fathers' cherished vision of a secure future for the nation.

It cannot be doubted that in the United States the instruction of the people powerfully contributes to the support of the democratic republic.
 
- Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1838


Checklist

Exhibition checklist by section
 
 
Introduction Section
 
Paintings
 
Brown, John George. Marching Along, 1863. Oil on canvas, 9-1/8 x 12-1/2 in. Private collection.
 
Blythe, David Gilmour. Boys Playing Marbles, n.d. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum,Washington, D.C.
 
Eakins, Thomas. Baby at Play, c. 1878. Oil on canvas, 32-1/4 x 48-1/4 in. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. John hay and Whitney collection.
 
Edouart, Auguste. Caroline Gardiner Cary, Sarah Gray Cary, and Richard Cary, 1842. Silhouette, 12 x 15 in. Boston Athenaeum, Massachusetts. Gift of Miss Caroline E. P. Cabot.
 
Johnson, Eastman. Boyhood of Lincoln, 1868. Oil on canvas, 46 x 37 in. The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor. Bequest of Henry C. Lewis.
 
LeClear, Thomas. Interior with Portraits, c. 1865. Oil on canvas, 25-7/8 x 40-1/2 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Museum purchase made possible by the Pauline Edwards Bequest.
 
Matteson, Tompkins Harrison. Caught in the Act, 1860. Oil on canvas,
22-1/4 x 18-1/4 in. Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkepsie, New York. Gift of Matthew Vassar.
 
Read, James B. Portrait of a Boy, 1856. Oil on canvas, 48-3/4 x 36 in. Minneapolis Institute of Art. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Butler.
 
Spencer, Lilly Martin. This Little Pig Went to Market, 1857. Oil on composition board with arched top, 16 x 12 in. Ohio Historical Society, Columbus.
 
Spencer, Lilly Martin. Choose Between, c. 1857. Oil on panel, 10-1/4 x 8-1/4 in. Private collection.
 
Sully, Thomas. Juvenile Ambition, 1825. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 28 3/4 in. Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
 
Unidentified Artist. Mother and Child of Pennsylvania, c. 1850. Silhouette: paper and brown wash on thin paperboard. The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
 
 
Photographs
 
Weller, F. B. A Doubtful Case, 1872. Stereograph, 3-7/16 x 6-7/8 in. Private collection.
 
 
Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
 
Appleton, publisher. Grandma Easy's New Pictorial Bible Alphabet, c. 1870. Illustrated book. Private collection. (9-1/8 x 13-1/4 in.--open to page starting with letter "M").
 
Conkey, publishers. Uncle Sam's ABC Book, c. 1900. Illustrated book. Private collection. ( 6-1/4 x 4 in.-closed).
 
Kantner's Illustrated Book of Objects for Children, 1877. Illustrated book. Private collection. (10-1/2 x 14-3/4 in.-open to pp. 92-93, showing "flagman" and "flagstaff").
 
Magnus, Chas., publishers.Youth's Diamond Alphabetic Library. New York, 1880s. Illustrated book. Private collection. (4-1/4 x 13-1/4-open to pages with letters "Y" and "Z" and image of American eagle).
 
McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Starry Flag ABC Book, 1899. Illustrated book. Private collection. (10 x 16 in.-open to first page, which starts with angel).
 
McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Aunt Mayflower's Alphabet, 1870s. Illustrated book. Private collection. (7 x 13-1/4 in.-open; open to first page, "APE," "Active," "Artful").
 
Turner and Fischer, publishers. My Darling's ABC, c. 1815. Illustrated book. Private collection. (3-1/2 x 48-1/4 in., extended; to display extended.)
 
Wood, Samuel and Sons, publisher. The Young Child's ABC; or First Book, 1806. Illustrated book. Private collection. (4 x 6-3/4 in.-open to pp. 6-7, "Elk.")
 
 
The Country Boy
 
Paintings
 
Brown, John George. The Berry Boy, c. 1877. Oil on canvas, 23 x 15 in. George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts.
 
Homer, Winslow. Snap the Whip, 1872. Oil on canvas, 12 x 20 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gift of Christian A. Zabriskie, 1950.
 
Johnson, Eastman. Back from the Orchard, 1876. Oil on board, 19-7/8 x 11-7/8 in. Hood Museum of American Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Purchased through the Katherine T. and Merrill G. Beede 1929 Fund; the Mrs. Harvey P. Hood W '18 Fund; a gift from the Estate of Russell Cowles, Class of 1909; and a gift from Jose Guerrero, by exchange.
 
Mount, William Sidney. Boy Hoeing Corn, 1840. Oil on panel, 15 x 11­5/8 in. Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages, Stony Brook, New York.
 
 
Works on paper
 
Homer, Winslow. Last Days of the Harvest, 1873. Wood engraving, 8 x 13 in. Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.
 
Homer, Winslow. "Snap the Whip," engraving from Harper's Weekly, 1873. Private collection. (13-3/4 x 20-3/4 in.-open).
 
Homer, Winslow. Waiting for a Bite, 1874. Wood engraving, 9 x 13-11/16 in. Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College,Winter Park, Florida.
 
Homer, Winslow. Watching the Crows, 1868. Wood engraving, 5-7/8 x 3-3/4 in. Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.
 
Prang, L. and Co., after J.H. Moser. Boy on a Swing, c. 1890. Chromolithograph,
3-3/8 x 5-1/16 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
Prang, L. and Co., after J.H. Moser. The Barefoot Boy, c. 1890. Chromolithograph., 16 x 20 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
 
Photographs
 
Guerin, F. W. Untitled (country boy fishing) (1), c. 1866. Photograph,
25-1/2 x 21-1/2 in. Private collection.
 
Guerin, F. W. Untitled (country boy fishing) (2), c. 1866. Photograph,
25-1/2 x 21-1/2 in. Private collection.
 
 
Books, journals, printed ephemera
 
McGuffey, William. The Eclectic First Reader for Young Children, Cincinnati, 1836. Illustrated book. Private collection. (8-1/4 x 11 in-open to pp. 22-23, "Lesson XI, Boys at Play").
 
Twain, Mark.The Adventures of Huck Finn, 1885. Illustrated book. Private collection. (7 x 8-1/4 in-closed; display closed.)
 
Twain, Mark.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. New York, 1876. Illustrated book. Private collection.
 
Warner, Charles Dudley. Being a Boy. Boston, 1877. Illustrated book. Private collection. (7-1/4 x 10-1/2 in.-open to image titled "The New England Boy" facing 184.)
 
New England Botanic Depot, publishers. The Illuminated White Pine Alphabet, 1870s. Illustrated booklet. Private collection. (7-1/4 x 10-1/2-open to pp. 12-13 with letters U, V, W.)
 
 
Daughters of Liberty
 
Paintings
 
Eakins, Thomas. Elizabeth with her Dog, c. 1871. Oil on canvas, 13-3/4 x 17 in. San Diego Museum of Art, California. Museum purchase and a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Edwin S. Larsen.
 
Guy, Seymour. Dressing for the Rehearsal, 1867. Oil on canvas, 18-1/8 x 24-3/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Gift of Jennie Anita Guy.
 
Guy, Seymour. Girl With Canary (The New Arrival), n.d. Oil on canvas, 12-1/4 x 9 1/4 in. Private collection.
 
Guy, Seymour. Unconscious of Danger, 1865. Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in. Private collection.
 
Johnson, Eastman, Little Girl with Golden Hair (Family Cares), 1873. Oil on canvas, 15 x 11 1/2 in. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont.
 
Johnson, Eastman. The Party Dress (The Finishing Touch), 1872. Oil on composition board, 20-5/8 x 16-11/16 in. The Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. Bequest of Mrs. Clara Hinton Gould.
 
Lambdin, George C. Two Girls Picking Fruit, 1867. Oil on canvas, 18-1/8 x 21-3/4 in. Private collection.
 
Lambdin, George C. Girl in Yellow Dress with Fresh Cut Flowers, n.d. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in. Private collection.
 
Pering, Cornelia S., Little Girl With Flowers (Emily Mae), 1871. Oil on canvas, 46 -1/2 x 37 in. Private collection.
 
 
Works on paper
 
Brown, John George. Fresh-water Sailor, 1875. Oil on canvas, 17-1/2 x 12-1/8 in. Private collection.
 
Prang, L., and Co., after J.H. Moser. Curly Haired Girl, c. 1890. Chromolithograph, 15 x 15 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
Prang, L., and Co., after J.H. Moser. Girl with Flowers, c. 1890. Chromolithograph, 19 x 24 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
Prang, L., and Co., after J.H. Moser. Playing with Dolls, c. 1890. Chromolithograph, 20-3/8 x 25-13/16 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
 
Photographs
 
Griswold, M.M. The Picture Book, #31 Young Folks Series, 1871. Stereograph, 3-3/8 x 6-7/8 in. Private collection.
 
Parkinson, M. B. Little Girl Washing, 1898, Photograph. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
 
 
Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
 
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. Boston, 1868. Illustrated book. Private collection. (4-1/2 x 6-3/4 in.-open to frontispiece.)
 
Child, Lydia. The Girl's Own Book. New York, 1834. Illustrated book. Private collection. (5-1/2 x 9 in.-open to frontispiece.)
 
Francis, C.S., and Co., publishers. Rhymes for The Nursery, 1837. Illustrated book. Private collection. ( 5 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.-open to pp. 100-101, "Learning to work.")
 
Hurd & Houghton, publishers. A Treasury of Pleasure Books for Young People, 1865. Printed book, 5-1/2 x 7-1/2 in. Private collection.
 
McGuffey, William. The Eclectic First Reader, 1836 (reprint, 1982). Illustrated book. Private collection. (8-1/4 x 11 in. --open to pp. 40-41, "The Good Girl.")
 
McGuffey, William. McGuffey's Pictorial Eclectic First Primer, 1836. Illustrated book. Private collection. (8-1/4 x 11 in.--open to pp. 124-125, "Lesson LXXXVI
 
McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Little Child's Home ABC Book. New York, c. 1880. Illustrated book. Private collection. (10-1/4 x 13 in.-open to "Lesson 5 and 6, 'dog, bee, eat.'")
 
McLoughlin, publishers. Miss Rose, c. 1854. Illustrated pamphlet. Private collection.( 6 x 7 in.-closed. Display back of pamphlet with words "That I was an American girl")
 
McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Mary Goodchild, c. 1854. Illustrated booklet. Private collection. (4 x 7 in.--open to page with "Mary" at left seated at a table writing, opening with text "Returned from her walk . . .")
 
McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Freaks and Frolics of Little Girls, 1887. Illustrated book, 11-1/2 x `19 open. Private collection. (open to first page, "Foolish Fanny.")
 
The Nursery, 1879. Vol XXV. Illustrated journal. Private collection. (7-1/2 x 11-1/4 in.-open. Open to pp. 44-45 with image "The Little Seamstresses.")
 
 
Children of Bondage
 
Paintings
 
Eakins, Thomas. Study for "Negro Boy Dancing": The Boy, 1877. Oil on cardboard, 24-1/4 x 12-3/16 in . National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon.
 
Elder, John Adams. A Virginny Breakdown, 1880. Oil on canvas, 8-1/2 x 22-1/4 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, The Virginia Fund.
 
Homer, Winslow. The Watermelon Boys, c. 1876. Oil on canvas, 24­1/8 x 38­1/8 in. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York. Gift of Charles Savage Homer, Jr.
 
Johnson, Eastman. The Negro Boy, 1860. Oil on canvas, 14 x 17-1/8. National Academy Museum, New York.
 
Johnson, Eastman. Hannah Amidst the Vines, 1859. Oil on canvas, 14 x 12 in. Georgetown University Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
 
 
Works on paper
 
Prang, L. and Co., after J.H. Moser. The Artist and The Gourmand (Boy with Watermelon) c. 1890. Chromolithograph, 20-7/16 x 13 -11/16 in. Hallmark Historical Collection, Kansas City, Missouri.
 
 
Photographs
 
Unidentified photographer. Portrait of a Well-Dressed Young Boy, c 1857-58. Sixth-plate ambrotype. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California.
 
Unidentified photographer. Portrait of a Young Boy in Fine Clothes, c 1857-58. Ninth-plate daguerreotype. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
 
 
Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
 
The Anti-Slavery Alphabet, 1846. Illustrated book, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.-open. Private collection. (open to "A is for Abolitionist.")
 
Carlton and Porter, publishers.The Child's Anti-Slavery Book,, 1859. Illustrated book, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.-open. Private collection. (open to page with title "Little Lewis: The Story of a Slave Boy."
 
Gray, Iron. The Gospel of Slavery; A Primer of Freedom. New York, 1864. Illustrated book, 6 1/2 x 9 in.-open.) Private collection. (open to pages with "B stands for Bloodhound/C stands for Cotton.)
 
Thompson, Bigelow, and Brown, publishers. Hand Shadow Stories, 1863. Illustrated book, 6 -3/4 x 10- 1/4 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pp. 14-15, "Sambo the Contraband.")
 
Pyrnelle, Louise-Clark. Diddie, Dumps, and Tot; or, Plantation Child-Life. New York, 1882. Illustrated book, 6 x 9 1/4 in.-open. Private collection. (open to image facing title page, "Evening Devotions.")
 
 
Wm. R. Babcock and McCarter and Co., publishers.The Southern Primer; or, Child's First Lessons in Spelling and Reading, 1860. Illustrated book, 5 5/8 x 7 1/4 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pp. 26-28, "The Cotton Field.")
 
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Pictures and Stories from Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1853. Illustrated book, 8 1/4 x 6 in. Private collection. (open to p. 24-25, "Topsy Bringing Flowers to Eva.")
 
"Golly I's so Wicked I was never Born", 1850s. Theater ticket, 5 x 2 1/4 in. (display side with "Topsy")
 
Phil J. Cozans, publisher. Little Eva: The Flower of the South, c. 1855. Illustrated book, 8 3/4 x 11 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pp. 2-3.)
 
 
The Ragamuffin
 
Paintings
 
Bannister, Edward Mitchell. Newspaper Boy, 1869. Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 25 1/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
 
Blythe, David Gilmour. The Match Seller, c. 1859. Oil on canvas, 27 x 22 in. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.
 
Blythe, David Gilmour. The News Boys, c. 1846-1852. Oil on canvas mounted on academy board, 29 3/4 x 25 3/4 in. The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg. Gift of Haugh and Keenan Galleries, 1856.
 
Blythe, David Gilmour. Street Urchins, 1856-1860. Oil on canvas, 27 x 22 in. The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
 
Brown, John George. The Beggars, 1863. Oil on canvas, 15 1/6 x 12 1/8 in. Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas.
 
Brown, John George. A Tough Story, 1886. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30­1/4 in. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.
 
Inman, Henry. The News Boy, 1841. Oil on canvas, 30­1/8 x 25­3/16 in. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.
 
Johnson, Eastman. The Young Sweep, 1863. Oil on paper board, 12 1/4 x 9 5/8 in. Private collection.
 
Johnson, Eastman. Ragamuffin, c. 1869. Oil on canvas, 11 1/2 x 6 3/8 in. Private collection.
 
 
Photographs
 
Riis, Jacob. Street Arabs in their Sleep Quarters, c. 1890. Photograph, 10 -1/2 x 12 -1/2 in. Jacob A. Riis Collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
 
Riis, Jacob. Street Arabs in Sleeping Quarters (Areaway, of Mulberry Street), c. 1890. Photograph, 10- 1/2 x 12- 1/2 in. Jacob A. Riis Collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
 
Riis, Jacob. Street Arabs in Sleeping Quarters (a church corner, Mulberry Street), 1889. Photograph, 10-1/2 x 12-1/2 in. Jacob A. Riis Collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
 
 
Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
 
Alger, Jr., Horatio. Ragged Dick, or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks. Boston, 1868. Illustrated book, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2-open. Private collection. (open to frontispiece with title "Ragged Dick Series.")
 
Riis, Jacob A. How the Other Half Lives. Illustrated book, 8 x 11 1/2 in.-open. Private collection. (page 202.)
 
American Sunday School Union, publishers. Alphabet Picture Stories, 1868. Illustrated book, 6 x 8 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pp. 14-15, "Faint and Weary and Cold."
 
Nelson and Phillips, publishers. The Mother's Picture Alphabet, c. 1855. Illustrated book, 13 3/4 x 20 3/4 in.-open. Private collection. (open to "N begins Newsboy.")
 
Morgan and Yeager, publishers. The History of Little Henry, c. 1825. Illustrated book, 5 x 7 in.-open. Private collection. (open to page 9, "He is cruelly sold to a chimney sweeper.")
 
Riis, Jacob A. The Children of the Poor, 1892. Illustrated book, 8 x 11 1/2 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pp. 28-29, "A Child of the Dump.")
 
 
The Papoose
 
Paintings
 
Catlin, George. Assiniboin Woman and Child, 1832. Oil on canvas, 29 x 24 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
 
Catlin, George. Osceola Nick-A-no-cheee, A Boy, 1840. Oil on canvas, 52 x 40 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
 
Catlin, George. Pshan-shaw, Sweet-Scented Grass, Twelve-year Old Daughter of Bloody Hand, 1832. Oil on canvas, 29 x 24 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
 
Catlin, George. Tcha-aes-ka-ding, Grandson of Buffalo Bull's Back Fat, 1832. Oil on canvas, 29 x 24 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
 
Hudson, Grace Carpenter. Little Mendocino, 1892. Oil on canvas, 36 x 26 in. California Historical Society, San Francisco, California.
 
Hudson, Grace Carpenter. Quail Baby, or The Interrupted Bath, 1892. Oil on canvas,
38 1/2 x 23 in. Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California.
 
Stanley, John Mix. Young Chief Uncas. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20. Autry National Center, Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, California.
 
 
Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
 
Abbot, Jacob. Gentle Measurements in the Management of the Young, 1877. Illustrated book, 7 x 10--open. Private collection. (open to "The Runaway", facing p. 285)
 
Lovechild, Mrs. Talk About Indians. Concord, 1849. Illustrated book, 6 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. Private collection. (open to first page of text.)
 
Mitchell, S. Augustus. Mitchell's Primary Geography, 1851. Illustrated book. Private collection. ( 6-1/4 x 10-1/2 in.-open to pp. 32-33, "America.")
 
Pryor, Paul. Pocahontas, or, The Indian Maiden, 1873. Illustrated book, 10 x 8 3/4 in.--closed. Private collection.
 
McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Yankee Doodle, 1880s. Illustrated book, 10 x 17 1/2 in.-open. Private collection. (open to first page "The Story of Yankee Doodle.")
 
Leavitt and Allen, publishers. Little Folk's First Steps on the Ladder of Knowledge, c. 1850. Illustrated book, 10 1/4 x 15 3/4 in. ­open. Private collection. (open to page 2-3 with picture of Indian babies in papoose.)
 
 
Photographs
 
 
Rinehart, F.A. Two Little Braves, 1892. Photograph, 13-3/4 x 10-11/16 in. Private collection.
 
Rinehart, F.A. Wichita, 1898. Photograph, 13-3/4 x 10-3/8 in, Private collection.
 
 
The New Scholar
 
Paintings
 
Bartoll, William. Boy with Dog, c. 1840-1850. Oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 24 1/4 in. Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan.
 
Bosworth, Charles F., Jr. The New England School, c. 1852. Oil on wood panel,
16 1/2/ x 20 1/2 in. Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.
 
Edmonds, Francis William. The New Scholar, 1845. Oil on canvas, 27 x 34 in. Manoogian Collection, Detroit, Michigan.
 
Hahn, William. Learning the Lesson (Children Playing School), 1881. Oil on canvas, 34 x 27 in. The Oakland Museum, California. Gift of the Kahn Collection.
 
Henry, Edward Lamson. Kept In. 1888. Oil on canvas. 13 1/2 x 17 7/8 in. New York State Historical Association.
 
Henry, Edward Lamson. A Country School, 1890. Oil on composition board, 12 x x 17 1/4 in. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Mabel Brady Garvan Collection.
 
LeClear, Thomas. The Truant, n.d. Oil on canvas, 16 x 12 in. Private collection
 
Ryder, Platt Powell. The Illustrated Newspaper, 1868. Oil on canvas,
16-7/8 x 13-13/16 in. The Brooklyn Museum, New York. Bequest of Mrs. Caroline H. Polhemus.
 
Stanley, John Mix. Eleonora C. Ross, 1844. Oil on canvas, 39 3/4 x 31 11/2 in. Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
 
 
Works on paper
 
Homer, Winslow. The Noon Recess, 1873. Wood engraving, 9 1/8 x 13 5/8 in. Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Winterpark, Florida.
 
 
Photographs
 
Choate, John N. Three Pueblo Students, as they looked on arrival at Carlisle, left to right, Mary Perry, John (Chaves) Menaul, and Benjamin Thomas. July 31, 1880. Facsimile. Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, PA.
 
Choate, John N. Three Pueblo Students, after a few years at Carlisle, left to right, Mary Perry, John (Menaul) Chaves, and Benjamin Thomas. c. 1884. Facsimile. Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle, PA.
 
 
Riis, Jacob. Saluting the Flag in the Mott Street Industrial School, New York, c. 1892. Facsimile, 9 x 12 in. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
 
After A. R. Ward, "Zion School for colored Children, Charleston, South Carolina," from Harper's Weekly, December 15, 1866. Facsimile, 9 x 12 in. Stanford University Libraries and Department of Special Collections.
 
Unidentified artist, "Noon at the Primary School for Freedmen, Vicksburg, Mississippi" from Harper's Weekly, December 15, 1866. Facsimile, 9 x 12 in. Stanford University Libraries and Department of Special Collections.
 
Unidentified photographer. The Math Lesson, c. 1853. Quarter-plate daguerreotype. LostImages Collection of Ron and Sue Humpries.
 
 
Books, Journals, Printed Ephemera
 
Mathew Carey, publisher. The American Primer, 1813. Illustrated book, 5 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pp. 22-23, "Viper.")
 
G.W. Hobbs, Publisher. Songs and Stories. Charlestown, 1864. Illustrated book, 6 1/4 x 8 3/4 in.-open. Private collection. (open to "The Truant Girl," n.p.)
 
Longley, Elias. American Ferst Reder, 1857. Illustrated book, 6 1/2 x 9 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pages with picture of woman in a bookshop or library giving book to boy.)
 
G.W. Cotrell, publishers. Etiquette for Little Folks, 1850s. Illustrated book, 4 1/4 x 7 in-open. Private collection (open to pp. 24-25.)
 
Webster, Noah, The American Spelling Book, 1828. Illustrated book, 6 1/2 x 7 3/4 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pp. 92-93.)
 
McLoughlin Bros., publishers. Dame Wonder's Picture Books: The Table Book, 1864. Illustrated book, 6 3/4 x 8 in.-open. Private collection. (open to first pages of book, starting with "Federal or United States Money.")
 
Sarah Davenport. Workbook, 1807. 13 x 15 in.-open. Private collection. (open to pages 6-7, "Simple Addition.")

 


(above: Brown, John George. The Berry Boy, c. 1877. Oil on canvas, 23 x 15 inches. George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts.)

 

(above: Homer, Winslow. Snap the Whip, 1872. Oil on canvas, 12 x 20 inches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gift of Christian A. Zabriskie, 1950.)

 

(above: Homer, Winslow. The Watermelon Boys, c. 1876. Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 38 1/8 inches. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York. Gift of Charles Savage Homer, Jr.)

 

(above: Edmonds, Francis William. The New Scholar, 1845. Oil on canvas, 27 x 34 inches. Manoogian Collection, Detroit, Michigan.)

 

 

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