[ca.1865?]. Eight pen-and-ink drawings on small cards, all captioned or annotated, unsigned; 4 x 2 1/2 inches each. [Augusta, GA?, ca. 1865?]. Accompanied by a calling card, engraved: “Dr. David Matthews / 44 West 132nd Street,” with a manuscript note on the verso, “Wallet and contents said to have been found on battlefield in Civil War - possibly by Dr. Matthews.”. Item #47096
The drawings are clearly of the period, seem to have originated in Augusta, Georgia (four captions refer to Augusta, and reveal a wry wit, e.g., in a skectch of the “Augusta Ice House,” glossed on the back: “Sketch of a relic of antiquity found in the neighborhood of Augusta, Ga. by Scientific Fossil Esq. S.F. Esq. has written an elaborate & able essay on the subject of a substance called ‘Ice.” proving conclusively that there WAS formerly a substance known to the ancients (probably the Aborigines) by this name. His interesting & able work may be had at any of the principal book-stores.” The artist, Dr. Matthews perhaps, showed some Confederate sympathies in his sketch of Uncle Sam contemplating a freed slave who holds a pole upon which the Liberian flag flies above the Stars and Stripes, captioned: “Liberty & Union, Won and Unsufferable.” Other cards show “Fortifications in the vicinity of Augusta,” i.e., a split rail fence - two drawings of “Park & Fountain, Augusta, Georgia,” i.e., an old pump, trough, and tree stump - “Powder Magazine & Lubricating Department,” i.e., a dressing table with powder jar, scent bottle, brush, and comb and on the verso, “N.B. The employees in this dept. are principally females,” (the Confederacy’s important Augusta Powder Works was staffed largely by women).
Calling card soiled, several sketches creased at corners. Products of a sense of humor undaunted by war, preserving vignettes of Augusta on pocket cards that were perhaps intended for amusing friends.