Drilling Scene
Original Author: David Hunter Strother, artist; Richardson, engraver
Created: 1851 edition shown here
Medium: Engraving

Drilling Scene

This engraving depicts a scene from John Pendleton Kennedy's Swallow Barn, or A Sojourn in the Old Dominion (1832), a novel set on a Virginia plantation that creates a romanticized view of slavery. The white boy with the hat and sword is Kip, the nearly thirteen-year-old son of the master. To entertain onlookers, Kip has assembled the enslaved "young serfs, and has drilled them into a kind of local militia," and has them "parade over the grounds with a riotous clamor."