Robert D. Wilkie. “The National Horse Fair at Riverside Park, Cambridge, Mass.–Exciting Contest Between The Celebrated Horses Empress, Frank Verrian, Dan Mace, and Capt. McGowan, Saturday, Sept. 23.” From Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. New York, Oct. 14, 1865. 9 x 14 1/8. Wood engraving.
Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was a New York based newspaper in the last half of the nineteenth century. Founded in 1855, Leslie’s in weekly issues presented a mixture of news stories, gossip, poetry, and most notably, wood-engraved illustrations. The pictures from the illustrated newspapers of the day remain one of the best sources for lively, informative images of nineteenth-century America. With photographs in a primitive stage, and no television, it is through these illustrations that much of the country got its visual information about the events, personalities and places of the time. These illustrations are also one of the few sources we have today for these same things. Major artists were employed to do drawings on the spot, which were then turned into lively and detailed prints in an amazingly short period of time. While originally issued in large numbers, few have survived the ages in good condition. These are interesting, historical and very collectible prints.