“The Great Fire in Chicago, Illinois, September 15, 1859.” From Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. New York: October 1, 1859. 7 x 9 1/4. Wood engraving.
Illustrated newspapers, like that published by Frank Leslie, made their name by issuing first-hand drawings of events that took place around the country within just days. This image, issued just over two weeks after the event, shows the ruins of a “great fire” at Chicago on September 15, 1859. The ruins of the Washington House hotel is shown still burning.