"That Scar Was Won by a Slave" Kemble, E[dward] W[indsor] [1861-1933]. "Look!" He Cried, "And Bless the Sight, For that Scar was Won by a Slave." [New York], September 1887. Attractively glazed and matted 10-1/2" x 8-1/2" pen-and-ink drawing in handsome 16" x 14-1/2" wooden frame. A few minor nicks and scratches to frame, a few tiny spots to matte, light uniform toning to image. $1,850. * An illustration for "De Valley an' de Shadder," A Story by the Macon, Georgia author Harry Stilwell Edwards [1855-1938] published first in The Century Magazine (January 1888, p. 476) and reprinted in Two Runaways and Other Stories (New York: Century Co., 1889, opposite p. 192 with the caption "See, If I Speak Not the Truth!"). The depiction of African-Americans in Edwards's stories of the Old South are what one would expect. In some of his work Kemble also employed the same deplorable stereotypes. But Kemble is also known for his sympathetic depiction of African-Americans in his work for Mark Twain and other authors. In many cases his work stood in contrast with the stock-racist stories he illustrated. "Look!" He Cried is a case in point. It captures the dramatic moment in the story where a lawyer (General Robert Thomas) proves the good character of a former slave (Ben Thomas) accused of murdering a drunken, "low-browed, vicious-looking negro" by revealing how Ben sustained wounds after Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg when he carried to safety the slain body of his master, who was General Thomas's brother. The passage reads: "See if I speak not the truth!" He tore open the prisoner's shirt and laid bare his breast, on which the silent splendor of the afternoon sun streamed. A Great ragged seam marked it from left to right. "Look!" he cried, "and bless the sight, for that scar was won by a slave in an hour that tried the souls of freemen and put to its highest test the best manhood of the South."
Book number 69145