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George Fuller (1822-1884) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, spent three winters working in the Deep South as an itinerant portrait painter. He also produced many sketches of slaves and southern plantation life. Fuller wrote to his sister Harriet in 1858 that he was "keeping bachelors hall and have a cheerful fireside of our own. A good looking yellow boy takes care of it for us." The boy of whom Fuller wrote was probably the subject for a sketch Fuller drew in February of "Our Page Harry." The term "yellow" referred to the lighter skin color of African Americans of mixed white and black ancestry. Fuller was generally silent on the subject of slavery in his journals and in letters home. A rare glimpse of his views on the subject appeared when Fuller wrote indignantly about a slave auction he witnessed in 1850. One of the people sold at the auction was a young woman who, like "Harry," was of mixed parentage. Fuller wrote that "The blood of the white and dark races is at enmity in her veins...about 3/4 white says one dealer. Three fourths blessed, a fraction accursed. She is under thy feet, white man...Is she not your sister?"


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"Our page, Harry"

artist   George Fuller (1822-1884)
date   1858
location   Alabama
height   5.5"
width   10.75"
process/materials   paper, graphite
item type   Art/Drawing
accession #   #1994.20.03.48

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See Also...

"Negroes waiting at the depot"

"Negro Funeral"

"Negro Nurse with a Child"

Woman washing

African-American woman sewing

"Ellis, Field hand"

Letter to Aaron Fuller from son George re: slave market

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