This panel is fascinating for several reasons. Perhaps the most eye-catching element of the composition, the scene, along with the title of the engraving, vividly communicates the black element of the
war. On this level, despite any caricature of the blacks, the engraving served a purpose in accurately disseminating information that was uncomfortable to white audiences
-- and that was, in fact, suppressed in many reports. The raised hand of the warrior at left is also notable, indicating a moral accusation against his white victim.
For all that this panel seems to say about the war, however, it is interesting to note that precisely these same figures appeared in an engraving published five years earlier, depicting the Nat Turner uprising in
Virginia. The figures were in fact type specimens sold in pre-configured lots to publishers, who used the
specimens to mass-produce engravings. (You can see the Turner engraving on
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