The Picture of Slavery

[By George Bourne]
Boston: Published by Isaac Knapp, 1838.

The second two-thirds of this 228-page book is a description of slavery as the abolitionist author "saw it for nearly seven years in Virginia." The illustrations are unsigned, but in the "Notice" at the start he writes: "The engravings illustrate slavery as it may now be seen in its various degrees of turpitude, among all classes of American man-stealers, whether they are avowed infidels or nominal Christians. If, however, any southern preaching slave driver, or his northern clerical accessory . . . should exhibit sufficient effrontery to deny the graphical accuracy of the picture; they can have the names of their brethren, and all the other circumstances more minutely detailed."

The 11 engravings focus on scenes of whipping and of buying and selling slaves. A noteworthy feature of the captions is the way they refer to slaves as "American Citizens." Click on any of the images at left to see a larger version of the illustration.