Family Worship in Plantation in South Carolina
This engraving was published in the Illustrated London News in December 1863, illustrated by Frank Vizetelly. Depicted is the proprietary enslaver, his family, and their enslaved people listening to an older enslaved person preaching. The preaching enslaved person could read, but not write. The chapel that the mass is being held in was built for the enslaved workers of the plantation, hence the bareness. Also note the division between the enslaver, his son, and wife and daughter. The enslaver is closer to the enslaved people, who are his property. There is also space on the bench, which could imply separation between him and the enslaved people. His son is framed by the table and enslaved person who is preaching. This perhaps emphasized his role as heir to the plantation. The enslaved people depicted express ranging amounts of engagement; some are visibly tired, others are intent on hearing the preacher's words. The enslaved person preaching strikes a classical orator pose with his hand in the air with a couple figures sticking out. The wife and daughter of the enslaver are along the perimeter of engraving, maybe hinting to their minor role on the plantation.
Below the "Family Worship" is an engraving titled "The War in America: The Federals Shelling the City of Charleston.--Shell Bursting in the Streets." Why do you think these two engravings were placed on the same page? Also, why would Great Britain be interested in the American South during the American Civil War? Who do you think read the Illustrated London News? Aristocracy? Middle class? Lower class?
Sandra J. Still and Emily Katt. "Slaves at Worship on Plantation in South Carolina". The Civil War in America from The Illustrated London News. Emory University: Collection Management, and the Beck Center. Accessed November 2, 2018. http://iln.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/browse/iln43.1234.007/
Sandra J. Still and Emily Katt. "Figure- Family Worship in a Plantation in Suth Carolina. -- See Page 574; The War in America: The Federals Shelling the City of Charleston.--Shell Bursting in the Streets. -- From a Sketch by Our Special Artist. -- See Page 574."The Civil War in America from The Illustrated London News. Emory University: Collection Management, and the Beck Center. Accessed November 2, 2018. http://iln.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/illustrationlarge/v43p561.jpg/
If you would like to see the whole December 5, 1863 newspaper issue go to (unfortunately you will not be able to see close ups of the articles):
Vizetelly, Frank (Illustrator). Mason Jackson (Engraver). "Family Worship in a Plantation in South Carolina". in Illustrated London News 43, December 5, 1836. The New York Public Library: Digital Collections: Print Collection. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b1dd3bd3-ae7e-dc5d-e040-e00a18... (Accessed November 2, 2018).
Public Domain is a copyright term that is often used when talking about copyright for creative works. Under U.S. copyright law, individual items that are in the public domain are items that are no longer protected by copyright law. This means that you do not need to request permission to re-use, re-publish or even change a copy of the item. Items enter the public domain under U.S. copyright law for a number of reasons: the original copyright may have expired; the item was created by the U.S. Federal Government or other governmental entity that views the things it creates as in the public domain; the work was never protected by copyright for some other reason related to how it was produced (for example, it was a speech that wasn't written down or recorded); or the work doesn't have enough originality to make it eligible for copyright protection.