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History, Military, March of Miles Standish, Longfellow Poem, Antique Print, 1873

$600

J.E. Baker (after)
The March of Miles Standish
Armstrong & Co., Boston: 1873
Signed in the stone, lower right: J.E. Baker
Hand-colored lithograph
16 x 27.5 inches, overall
12.25 x 25 inches, image
$600

Large print illustrating a scene from the poem The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82). Standish, military captain of the Pilgrims colony at Plymouth, Massachusetts, is shown with his men and “their Indian guide” at dawn on their way to “quell the sudden revolt of the savage.” Behind them is the ocean, with the Mayflower at anchor in the distance, as described in the poem. This print is listed in Peters’ America on Stone as one of the outstanding works produced by Armstrong & Co. A copy of it is shown on the Library of Congress web site (see References).

Product Description Continues Below

Description

Beneath the image are the title and 12 lines from Part VII of the poem, “The March of Miles Standish”:

Figures ten, in the mist, marched slowly out of the village.
Standish the stalwart it was, with eight of his valorous army,
Led by their Indian guide, by Hobomok, friend of the white men,
Northward marching to quell the sudden revolt of the savage.
Giants they seemed in the mist, or the mighty men of King David;
Giants in heart they were, who believed in God and the Bible,–

Out of the sea rose the sun, and the billows rejoiced at his coming;
Beautiful were his feet on the purple tops of the mountains;
Beautiful on the sails of the Mayflower riding at anchor,
Battered and blackened and worn by all the storms of the winter.
Loosely against her masts was hanging and flapping her canvas,
Rent by so many gales, and patched by the hands of the sailors.

The Courtship of Miles Standish is a lengthy narrative poem written in 1858. Miles Standish was a real person, but the poem is almost entirely fictional. It tells the story of the courtship between Standish and Priscilla Mullins, and Mullins’ eventual marriage to John Alden; the best-known line is probably her retort to Alden, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”

J.E. Baker was likely Joseph E. Baker, a lithographer and pencil portraitist. He apprenticed in Bufford’s lithography firm in Boston with Winslow Homer in 1857. He was working in New York City in the 1860s.

Armstrong & Co. was a lithography firm founded by Charles Armstrong, which operated in Boston and New York from 1872 to 1876. They produced separately issued prints, views and portraits, some as premiums for subscribers to the Atlantic Monthly.

Full publication information: Armstrong & Co. Lith. 43 Bristol St. Boston.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall toning, wear, marginal abrasions. Few short marginal tears restored.

References:

Groce, George C. and Wallace, David H. The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564-1860. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. p. 22 (Baker).

Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. p. 80 (Armstrong).

“The Courtship of Miles Standish.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Maine Historical Society. 2000-2008.http://www.hwlongfellow.org/poems_poem.php?pid=191 (11 April 2008).

“The March of Miles Standish.” http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/i?pp/PPALL:@field(NUMBER+@band(cph+3a07385)) (11 April 2008).

Additional information

Century

19th Century