The Acquisitions Table: Marion’s Brigade Crossing the Pedee River

Currier & Ives after William Ranney, Marion’s Brigade Crossing the Pedee River, S.C., 1778, on Their Way to Attack the British Forces under Tarleton. New York: Currier & Ives, between 1872 and 1874.

Although founded in the 1830s, the firm of Currier & Ives continually produced historical subjects, printing images of the American Revolution and scenes from the colonial era and early Republic. Portraits of Washington and John Adams were published alongside contemporary images of Lincoln and Grant.  There was clearly a market for these pieces, as they were produced into the sunset years of the firm in the 1870s and 1880s.  This Revolutionary War era image of General Marion crossing the Pee Dee River in 1778 was based on a painting made by the American artist William Ranney in 1850.  Ranney’s composition had also been issued as an engraving published by the American Art Union in 1852.  This post-1870 hand-colored lithograph indicates that images of the crafty military hero known widely as the “Swamp Fox” had a long life and were still of interest to Americans nearly one hundred years after the Revolutionary War was over.

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