MEDIA
Original Author: B. Tanner, engraver of University of Virginia vignette
Created: 1827 original map with 1859 revisions
Medium: Engraving

University of Virginia

In this nineteenth-century engraving, University of Virginia students frolic on the Lawn, the grassy expanse at the center of the Academical Village. Thomas Jefferson's design included the domed Rotunda in the background and the flanking faculty residences, known as pavilions, that were connected by colonnaded student rooms. Figures can be seen atop the balconies of the pavilions, including a black woman—presumably enslaved—holding an infant at far left. This illustration, engraved by B. Tanner of Philadelphia, was positioned in the corner of a map of Virginia that had originally been created by Herman Boye in 1827. The map, which measured approximately five feet by eight feet, was updated by Lewis von Bucholtz in 1859. Because the original 1827 copper plates were used in creating the revised map, no major changes could be made and only seventy-five copies were printed. One element added to the map, however, was the chart beneath the illustration that lists the state's population of whites, slaves, and free blacks in 1790, 1800, 1810, and 1859. By 1859 slightly more than half the population was black—nearly half a million enslaved, and fewer than 60,000 free blacks.

Citation: University of Virginia Visual History Collection, RG-30/1/10.011, Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

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