The Scourged Back
In 1831, enslaved Black preacher Nat Turner led a slave rebellion in Southhampton County Virginia, where the population was comprised of more Black people than white, that spread to Alabma and resulted in the deaths of about 60 people, most of whom were white. White mobs and militia killed more than 200 Black people in response. Turner eluded capture for six weeks, but was eventually caught, tried, convicted "for conspiring to rebel and cause insurrection," hanged, and his corpse drawn and quartered.
Kerry James Marshall, Nat Turner with the Head of His Master, 2011.











Slavery was outlawed in France in 1794 and Benoist's piece became a symbol for equality. Under Napolean I, however, slavery was reinstated in 1802 in recognition that emancipation of enslaved people had upset French colonists and jeopardized the immense profits of the sugar industry.

Portrait of a Negresse

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, Portrait of Citizen Jean-Baptiste Belley, Ex-Representative of the Colonies, 1797.
Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait of a Negrese (Madeleine), 1800.











Civil War
1861 - 1865
  • Conflict between northern & southern states
    • Involved numerous disputes, although most of them centered on the issue of slavery (whether obvious, or not)
  • After election of Lincoln in 1861, seven states seceded from the United States: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Once war broke out, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina also seceded.
  • At least 623,000 killed in the war
    • About 1.2 million soldiers have been killed in U.S. conflicts all together, with 644,000 in conflicts other than the Civil War
Black private in Union Army, Fort Benton, MO, no date.











McPherson and Oliver (attributed),
The Scourged Back, 1863. Carte-de-Visite.

Sojourner Truth, I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance, 1864. Carte-de-Visite.











"The paper gown sculptures are transformed in a way that allows me to represent layers of time and the events of the past as they intrude upon the present. Through the materials, I suggest that although we cannot change the past, we can act to change the present, as we activate the memories, visions, and legacies of our ancestors. Rewriting History seeks to reconnect viewers to the past so that parallels with current events are amplified." - Fabiola Jean-Louis
Fabiola Jean-Louis, Madame Beauvoir's Painting, 2018.











Mathew Brady, Construction of Washington Monument, 1860.
Mathew Brady, Frederick Douglass, c. 1880.
Was the Washington Monument built by slaves?











Victorian Cabinet Card Collection











Edouard Manet, Olympia, 1863.