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Civil War Era Print Abolitionist in Deep Walnut Frame - Alfred Cookman
From Illman Brothers Engravers of Philadelphia comes this hard to find print of the Reverend Alfred Cookman, a known abolitionist, who is also credited with starting a school for freed blacks in Florida called the Cookman Institute, which today is known as BCU or Bethune Cookman University, after merging with Mary McLeod Bethune's school for black girls in 1924.
Cookman was born in Columbia, PA in 1828, was later educated at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and worked as a Methodist minister in various parts of the country, but eventually landed in Philadelphia, where he was a vocal supporter of President Lincoln for his opposition to slavery. In the winter of 1864, the Rev. Cookman was found preaching to the Army of the Potomac as a chaplain. After the war, he worked to ensure full citizenship rights for freed slaves and adopted causes that would provide educational opportunities for them. In 1871, he raised the $200 to start the school in Florida for black males and died shortly thereafter in New Jersey at the young age of 43.
This hard to find print was from a photo taken by Broadbent and Phillips and is in is original deep walnut frame. I was unable to locate the print for sale anywhere else but it is listed within the collections of the Maryland Historical Society. The print itself has some wear and foxing, however, we have not removed it form its frame to clean it. The glass and backing on the frame are original and have not been replaced over the years. The frame is in good condition with the expected wear for something this old, and the gold trim is in nice shape with only minor wear. The photos really show the condition well. The original wood backing could use an extra nail at the bottom to secure it.
The frame measures just over 8 inches wide and almost 9.5 inches high, so is an unusual size for a deep walnut frame. The print area is just over 5 inches wide by 6.5 inches high.
This is an interesting find for the collector.
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