"La Guerre en Amerique - Harper's-Ferry (Virginie)",
Period: 1862 (published)
Publication: L'Univers Illustre
Color: Hand Color
9.3 x 6.9 inches
23.6 x 17.5 cm
This lovely engraving of Harpers Ferry comes from a January 1862 issue of L'Univers Illustre, a weekly periodical published in France from 1858 to 1900. Located at the meeting point of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry was the site of abolitionist John Brown's famous arsenal raid in 1859. During the Civil War, it would become an important strategic location given its position along Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Union Colonel John White Geary wrote, "The scenery around Harper's Ferry is majestically Grand and such as bears an Almighty impress[ion]." The engraving highlights that astounding beauty, showcasing its rivers and mountains, as well as the military presence there, showing cannons and hundreds of troops milling around. Over the course of the war, the town changed hands eight times.
There are a few minor spots within the image, two small chips in the blank margins, and remnants of hinge tape on verso. The top half of the sheet, with an unrelated engraving, has been trimmed away.