"$4.00 per month"
From the series: Freedmen’s Labor Contracts, 05/1865 - 12/1867
Following the Civil War, the Federal Government established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands to aid former slaves. One of the services this agency provided was assisting freedmen with labor contracts. This contract, dated August 28, 1865, acknowledged that Robert McKenzie would pay Truss B. Hall $4 a month for his service until December 25, and that Hall would “obey all lawful commands as he use to when a slave.”
disneybird submitted to medievalpoc:
This submission is about the artist; he has several paintings with poc. Another find from the National Gallery in London. Frans Post, as they call him in a painting on loan that I saw, was from Haarlem and painted scenes inspired by the time he spent in a colony in Brazil. I included the Rijksmuseum link since they have many more of his paintings in a better image quality than the National Gallery.
Unfortunately, “A Landscape in Brazil”, the painting I saw in the National Gallery, is not on the Rijksmuseum site but a low-res version can be found on the National Gallery site in paintings/frans-post-landscape-in-brazil.
Thanks for the awesome submission! A reminder, you can view all of these full paintings at high resolution for free at the link above.
Herbert Ward, The Fire Maker, 1911. Bronze, approximately life-size.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON, D.C.
A native of the African Congo squats before a log, his right foot holding it firmly in place. Several inches farther along its length, he twirls a slender stick within a hole made in the log’s upper surface. His gaze is directed intently downward as he concentrates on making fire, an elemental technology little changed for hundreds of thousands of years. Dressed only in a loincloth, his idealized muscular fiure appears frozen in time as the very embodiment of a “primitive” man living in harmony with his natural environment.
This work was created by Herbert Ward, an English traveler and adventurer-turned-artist. Two decades earlier, he had spent several years in Central Africa in the service of the Belgian colonizers of the Congo. This vast territory had just been claimed by King Leopold II as his personal domain. Attracted by the opening of this land of great natural wealth and beauty to Europeans, Ward lived among the native people, observing with great interest and sympathy their material culture and mode of life.
In 1889 Ward returned to his native England to pursue a career as an artist. He left the Congo on the eve of the worst atrocities committed as a result of the Belgian exploitation of the territory and later became a staunch advocate for reform.
With his move to Paris in 1900, Ward began a long series of sculptural representations of Congo natives. Between 1906 and 1911 he produced nine life-size individual figures as well as many small-scale sculptures over a longer period.
In 1921, just two years after Ward’s death, these works, along with Ward’s vast collection of native artifacts, were donated to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. There they were presented as an ensemble in the National Museum of Natural History. Cast in the durable “high culture” medium of bronze, and perched atop an artificially roughened wooden base with a brass informational plaque, The Fire Maker was displayed as a typical representative of indigenous life in the heart of the African continent.
In the midst of the Civil War, who was a slave and who was free? When African Americans in Maryland asked this question 150 years ago, in August 1864, they engaged in a sophisticated analysis. The answer was to be found in the confrontations between African Americans, slaveholders, and soldiers. Understanding emancipation required the careful reading of orders, statutes, and presidential edicts. The result was sometimes confusion, even for lawmakers. Judges, congress members, and the President differed over who had the authority to end slavery. Legal pundits suggested that the Constitution might not allow for abolition at all. Enslaved people had a great deal at stake: their liberty. They studied emancipation’s complex legal contours. They interpreted the law. Then, they acted.