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Print - A private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps
  • A private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps
    Blake, William, born 1757 - died 1827
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A private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1796 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Blake, William, born 1757 - died 1827 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving

  • Museum number:

    E.1215C-1886

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case TOPIC, shelf 4

The Dutch captured the British colony of Suriname during the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1667). Under the West India Company it was developed as a plantation slave society and became a primary destination for the Dutch slave trade. The brutal regime caused high mortality; despite the import of 300,000 slaves between 1668 and 1823, the population never grew beyond 50,000. ‘Maroonage’ became the major form of resistance. Fugitive slaves, or ‘maroons’, escaped inland to form permanent communities from where they waged a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the Dutch.

In 1774 the Scottish-Dutch soldier John Gabriel Stedman witnessed the brutal oppression of slaves during a campaign against the maroons, which he described in his Narrative of a Five Years Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. The book, which included illustrations by William Blake, was adopted by those who advocated the abolition of the slave trade, though Stedman was thought to support reform rather than abolition.

Colonel Fourgeoud was Stedman’s commanding officer. Stedman found him an incompetent and callous leader but passages expressing his anger and contempt towards Fourgeoud were edited out of the Narrative.

Physical description

Print depicts a standing white soldier in military dress with a sword worn around his waist and holding a bayonet in his right hand. To his right two other soldiers with long guns are watching the coastline. To his left a walled pillbox, with a flag.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (probably, made)

Date

1796 (made)

Artist/maker

Blake, William, born 1757 - died 1827 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving

Marks and inscriptions

Bottom right:
Blake Sculpt.

Dimensions

Height: 19.4 cm, Width: 14.3 cm

Descriptive line

'A private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps', print by William Blake, 1796

Subjects depicted

Soldier

Categories

Black History; Slavery & Abolitionism; Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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