Mrs. Meriwether Administering Bitters
Original Author: David Hunter Strother, artist; J. W. Orr, engraver
Created: 1851 edition
Medium: Engraving

Mrs. Meriwether Administering Bitters

In this engraving published in John Pendleton Kennedy's novel Swallow Barn, or A Sojourn in the Old Dominion (1832), Lucretia Meriwether, the kindly mistress of a Virginia plantation, dispenses some medicine to the enslaved children and two of her own children in the back of the group. In the novel, Meriwether's morning regimen involves giving out "some death-routing decoction" that she has prepared in a small pitcher. Kennedy's fictional plantation presents a romantic evocation of the day-to-day life of enslavement.