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Civil War Racist Letters (2), Drawing- Slavery

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Lot 0120 Details

Description
Grouping related to Private Frank Rhodes of the 16th Maine Infantry, includes:

Colored drawing of a man holding a baby (both subjects appear to be African-American). Underneath is written “We congratulate our friend upon the hurricane of happiness that has befallen him, and ardently hope that he will fall down no cellar-ways, nor into no coal-holes, in his up gazing pride, at assisting to add one to the numerical strength of the country.” Underneath is written in pencil “Artist Frank” and “Painter Meeks.” Given the context of Rhodes’ letters, the drawing is likely a reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation or 13th Amendment. He seems to be suggesting to black Americans that they not become too prideful in having recently become citizens.
Letter written December 15th, 1864. Rhodes reports that men in his regiment celebrated the election of President Abraham Lincoln by drinking whiskey and “applejack” in great abundance, with about half getting “drunk as good Republicans always do when they have the chance.” He further relates that the whiskey was poisoned and some of the men died. Rhodes goes on to say that he does not think “Old Abe” will be able to “put down the rebellion” in the next four years. Please see fourth picture listed for a scan of the full transcription.
Letter written on March 6th, 1865 by Private Frank Rhodes (a little more than a month after Congress passed the 13th Amendment). Rhodes writes a poem about slavery, General Sherman, abolitionists, etc. with such lines as “we are bound to protect them (“negroes”), though mighty strong they smell, tis' live darkeys or dead white men, or our Union is gone to hell.” Two pages. Please see seventh picture for a scanned transcription.
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Civil War Racist Letters (2), Drawing- Slavery

Estimate $300 - $500May 17, 2020
Starting Price $50
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