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Guide to the Confederate War Etchings
 PR 10-1

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jenny Gotwals

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 11, 2022
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

This portfolio of twenty-nine caricatures was etched by Volck and was originally published under the name "V. Blada." These materials have been digitized and are available online via New-York Historical Society's Digital Collections.

Made during the Civil War, the etchings show sympathy for the Confederate cause, and distaste for warfare in general. It sardonically illustrates events that allegedly took place in the North and South from Philadelphia and Baltimore to Charleston and Vicksburg between 1861 and 1863. Lincoln's ideals and actions are caricatured, as are such topics as Union army conscription methods, Northern treatment of African Americans, and the behavior of the Union and Confederate armies. Northerners of conflicted views are shown in several scenes smuggling medicine to the South, or joining the Confederate army. Several scenes of events in Baltimore highlight the city residents' early ambivalence toward the war cause and effort.

The original publication contained thirty prints, but one plate, "Meeting of the Southern Emissaries and Lincoln," has been lost. The portfolio was produced in an edition of 200 copies for subscribers of Dr. Adalbert John Volck during the early part of the Civil War. An edition of 45 plates, including the original 30 and 15 additional by the same artist, was also pub. (with imprint, London, 1863) under title: Sketches from the Civil War in North American, 1861, '62, '63. By V. Blada [pseud.]


The caricatures were numbered by the artist, and are housed in a portfolio by this numbering system.