Contrabands coming into Fortress Monroe


“Contrabands coming into Fortress Monroe.”  Ca. 1862.  Wood engraving by Adrian-Probasco.  4 x 6.  Very good condition.


In 1861, General Banjamin F. Butler granted asylum to slaves who escaped to his command at Fortress Monroe, declaring that they qualified as “contraband of war.”  This was an important event in the Civil War, encouraging thousands of slaves to escape through Union lines.  This wood engraving, which appears in a contemporary Civil War account, was based on a photograph, a copy of which is in the Library of Congress.