Confederate war etchings, 1863.
1 portfolio ( leaf, 29 plates) : etching ; sheet 27 x 21 cm. on mount 34 x 26 cm. India paper proofs, mounted. This portfolio was produced in an edition of 200 copies for subscribers of Dr. Adalbert John Volck during the early part of the Civil War. It sardonically illustrates events that allegedly took place in the North and South from Philadelphia and Baltimore to Charleston and Vicksburg between 1861 and 1863. The original publication contained thirty prints, but one plate, "Meeting of the Southern Emissaries and Lincoln," has been lost. The twenty-nine caricatures presented here were etched during the Civil War. They show sympathy for the Confederate cause, and distaste for warfare in general. They were made by Adalbert John Volck (1828-1912), a Baltimore dentist, and were originally published under the name "V. Blada." Lincoln's ideals and actions are caricatured, as are such topics as Union army conscription methods, Northern treatment of African Americans, and the behavior of the Union and Confederate armies. Northerners of conflicted views are shown in several scenes smuggling medicine to the South, or joining the Confederate army. Several scenes of events in Baltimore highlight the city residents' early ambivalence toward the war cause and effort. This portfolio of etchings is from the New-York Historical Society's Caricature and Cartoon File in the Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections. Isaac John Greenwood's copy, with his bookplate.
Adalbert John Volck (1828-1912) was German-born and immigrated to the United States in 1848. He qualified as a dentist, and practiced for many years in Baltimore, where he settled permanently in 1851. In an effort to combat the success of the Northern caricaturist, Thomas Nast (ironically also German-born), Volck issued many caricatures favorable to the South. The Confederate War Etchings are the most important and best known of these. Published under the name "V. Blada"