BUFFORD, J.H., & Sons, Bird's Eye View of Confederate Prison Pen at Salisbury, N.C. Taken in 1864. 1886

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BUFFORD, J.H., & Sons, Bird's Eye View of Confederate Prison Pen at Salisbury, N.C. Taken in 1864. 1886



Copyright to C.A. Kraus

25 3/4 x 36 1/2 inches, hand-colored lithograph, plate legend on bottom bearing title, location, and date, as well as a 12-item key identifying the key sites (toning consistent with age).

 This composition, compiled from a sketch made on site in 1864, presents a panoramic view of the Confederate Prison Pen at Salisbury, North Carolina toward the end of the Civil War. We see the camp from a bird’s-eye-view, set up on the grounds of a large “cotton factory” in which the prisoners were ordered to work as factory laborers. The prison pen is guarded and enclosed by a stockade. We also see the tents and pits dug into the ground where Union soldiers were forced to live. The print includes a 12-item key identifying the multi-story cotton factory in the center, black smith’s shop, officers’ quarters, headquarters and the hole from which prisoners tunneled and escaped. Human figures--both prisoners and guards--are rendered with great detail and clarity throughout the composition. The use of perspective in the hills on the horizon powerfully conveys the stark contrast between the closed-in environment of the prison camp in the foreground and the wide open spaces that surround it.

J. H. Bufford & Sons was a print shop in Boston that consisted of John Henry Bufford (1810-1870) and his sons Frank G. Bufford and John Henry Bufford, Jr. J.H. Bufford honed his craft in the Pendleton shop in Boston between the years 1829 and 1831, before moving to New York in 1835 to launch a career as an independent lithographer, working with notable printers such as George Endicott and Nathaniel Currier. In 1839, Bufford returned to his hometown of Boston and became the chief artist of Benjamin W. Thayer’s shop. In 1844, the name changed to J.H. Bufford & Co. Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery describes the works produced by Bufford as “lively, accomplished images in many forms, including sheet music, city views, marine views and landscapes,” quoting one American reviewer: "Bufford's lithographs are sold wherever the flag of our country waves."

You are warmly invited to visit our gallery at 1016 Madison Avenue in New York City to view this work whenever it might be convenient. It is my intention to have highly competitive prices. Your thoughts are welcome.