Skip to main content

David Hunter Strother, Artist, Artwork and Papers

 Collection
Collection Number: A&M.2894
Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, memorabilia, photographs, journals, drawings, and sketchbooks of a nineteenth century illustrator and writer for HARPERS MAGAZINE whose pseudonym, "Porte Crayon", was a household word. Other highlights of his career, all of which are reflected in this collection, are authorship of VIRGINIA ILLUSTRATED (1857) and CHARLESTON AND ITS RESOURCES (1878), his work as illustrator for BLACKWATER CHRONICLE (1853), service during the Civil War as a Union officer, stint as a newspaper editor, and Consul-Generalship to Mexico (1879-1885). According to Strother's biographer, Cecil Eby, his writings linked the two traditions of literature in the south, "the genteel romanticism of the sentimental novelists and the earthy realism of the frontier humorists." In 1872-1875 Strother wrote THE MOUNTAINS, which Eby considers the first important presentation of West Virginia in literature. The collection includes roughly 590 drawings and sketches, 44 volumes of journals, and several boxes of correspondence.

This collection is organized into nine series, including:

Series 1. Journals; 1840-1888; boxes 1-6

Series 2. Manuscripts and Correspondence; 1778-1925, undated; boxes 7-9

Series 3. Oversize; 1798-1882, undated; box 10

Series 4. Sketchbooks; 1843-1887; undated; boxes 11, 13-15

Series 5. Artwork by Others; 1858-1909; undated; box 12

Series 6. Artworks; 1833-1887, undated; undated; boxes 16-25

Series 7. Framed Original Artworks; 1844-1887, undated; boxes 26-41

Series 8. Framed Facsimiles; 1845-1859, undated; boxes 42-49

Series 9. Exhibit; ca. 1996; boxes 50-53

To visit the digital collection, Drawings of David Hunter Strother, please visit https://images.lib.wvu.edu/s/strother/.

Addendum of 2007/02/08 includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, announcements, and photographs regarding David Hunter Strother (DHS) and related families of the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Correspondence (1958-1963) includes letters to and from Mrs. Ernest Sewall Shepard (Louise Shepard) regarding both Strother genealogy and publications of and about DHS. Newspaper clippings regard DHS, John Strother, Porte Crayon Memorial Society, the dedication of Mt. Porte Crayon, reviews of publications relating to DHS, and John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. There is a typescript copy of a 1938 New York Times article titled "John Harper's Grandson" referencing DHS. There are announcements regarding the publication of three books by Cecil Eby, a biographer of DHS. There are four photographs, including: 1) Lt. D.H. Strother (copy); 2) the Richardson family with John Strother (copy); 3) an unidentified house with an old man standing outside it; and 4) Louise Strother Kieutner in the dress of Elizabeth Pendleton Hunter Strother. There is also a postcard featuring Robert E. Lee, and a copy of an 1887 manuscript letter from D.H. Strother to Mary Hunter. (1862-1970; 2 in.)

Addendum of 2015/06/13 contains a drawing by Porte Crayon titled "The Eyes of Delaware are Upon You". The drawing depicts a man sitting in a chair. This drawing may be a sketch for a finished artwork. This addendum is located in small collections.

Dates

  • 1778-1970
  • Majority of material found within 1833-1887

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Special access restriction applies.
Conditions Governing Access Permission of WVRHC curator required for use of this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Extent

14.8 Linear Feet (Summary: 14 ft. 9 1/2 in. (1 document case, 2 1/2 in.); (10 document cases, 5 in. each); (4 large flat storage boxes, 3 1/2 in. each); (17 small flat storage boxes, 3 in. each); (16 large flat storage boxes, 3 in. each); (4 large flat storage boxes, 2 1/2 in. each); (1 flat storage box, 1 1/2 in.); (4 folders, 1/2 in.); 8 reels of microfilm)

Overview

Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, memorabilia, photographs, journals, drawings, and sketchbooks of David Hunter Strother (1816-1888), a nineteenth century illustrator and writer for HARPERS MAGAZINE whose pseudonym, "Porte Crayon", was a household word. Other highlights of his career, all of which are reflected in this collection, are authorship of VIRGINIA ILLUSTRATED (1857) and CHARLESTON AND ITS RESOURCES (1878), his work as illustrator for BLACKWATER CHRONICLE (1853), service during the Civil War as a Union officer, stint as a newspaper editor, and Consul-Generalship to Mexico (1879-1885). According to Strother's biographer, Cecil Eby, his writings linked the two traditions of literature in the south, "the genteel romanticism of the sentimental novelists and the earthy realism of the frontier humorists." In 1872-1875 Strother wrote THE MOUNTAINS, which Eby considers the first important presentation of West Virginia in literature. The collection includes roughly 590 drawings and sketches, 44 volumes of journals, and several boxes of correspondence. An addendum of 2007/02/08 includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, announcements, and photographs regarding Strother and related families of the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia. An addendum of 2015/06/13 includes one drawing. For contents of the addenda and link to the digital collection: Drawings of David Hunter Strother, please see the Scope and Content Note.

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/

Separated Materials

Separated to A&M 435, Rare Signatures: letter, dated March 6, 1796, to Col. David Hunter of Berkeley County, Va., from John Marshall (subsequently Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court) regarding a dispute over land ownership.

Separated to A&M 435, Rare Signatures: commission, dated March 11, 1862, to David H. Strother, from Abraham Lincoln and Edwin Stanton regarding officer's commission, appointing David H. Strother as "Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers, with the rank of Captain."
Title
David Hunter Strother, Artist, Artwork and Papers, 1778-1970
Author
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

Contact:
1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US
304-293-3536