Self-emancipating man hiding in the Great Dismal Swamp crouches in the thick undergowth and cradles a rifle
Original Author: Unknown
Created: 1856
Medium: Wood engraving


A wood engraving published in the September 1856 edition of Harper's New Monthly Magazine depicts a crouching and vigilant formerly enslaved man named Osman, a long-term resident of the Great Dismal Swamp. Osman sits amidst some tangled undergrowth while cradling a gun. This engraving was based on the eyewitness testimony of David Hunter Strother, the author of the magazine article about the swamp. Strother encountered Osman in a remote section of the swamp and wrote that his "face was of mingled fear and ferocity, and every movement betrayed a life of habitual caution and watchfulness."

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