Image Sketch of a slave cabin in Virginia, 1864

TLF ID M008737

This is a black-and-white sketch showing a slave cabin with a small girl standing in front. The handwritten caption reads 'Slave Cabin near the Long Bridge, Chicahominy River, Va [Virginia], June 13th 1864'. The artist was Edwin Forbes and elsewhere on the drawing he noted, 'Sketched while on the march from Long Bridge to the James River'.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This sketch is an interesting primary source for the year 9 history depth study elective, Movement of peoples (1750-1901), which incorporates a study of the influence of the industrial revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including the transatlantic slave trade. It is also of use for studies of the American Civil War (1861-65) in years 11 and 12 modern history.
  • The cabin seen here is typical of slave housing just prior to the civil war. These cabins were built by the slaves themselves and were made entirely of wood, rough hewn logs and some sawn plank wood, probably pine. Clay and mortar would have been daubed in the gaps in the walls and used to line the wooden chimneys. As was usual with slave cabins there were few windows. The walls are buckling due to the lack of structural support.
  • The artist, Edwin Forbes, was employed to provide illustrations of the American Civil War for 'Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper'. During the two-and-a-half years he covered the war as a 'special artist', Forbes was at the Front in Virginia with the Army of the Potomac.
Learning area
  • History
  • Studies of society and environment

Other details

  • Author
  • Person: Edwina Forbes
  • Description: author
  • Contributor
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Person: Edwina Forbes
  • Description: author
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.