Sketches and political cartoons were powerful sources of information during the Civil War. With the ability to give magazine readers a visual of the War waged both on and off the battle field, images were a popular way to disseminate information. When combined with an increased use of photography, the Civil War was recorded like no other war before. These images, however, were not unbiased. Instead, they illustrated their creator’s view on subjects ranging from President Lincoln to enslaved persons.
This lesson uses a group of images to demonstrate how variables other than geographic location influenced people and the images they produced. After analyzing the provided images and applying their knowledge of the time period, students will better understand and be able to discuss the complexity of racist views and opinions surrounding African Americans.