Osman, September 1856
Harper's New Monthly Magazine
The Mariners' Museum Research Library and Archives

David Hunter Strother, an artist for Harper's Magazine, journeyed to the Dismal Swamp to illustrate and document its many tantalizing features. He remarked, "I had long nurtured a wish to see one of those sable outlaws who dwell in the fastnesses of the Swamp." He observed a runaway slave named Osman and noted, "His hair and beard were tipped with gray, and his purely African features were cast in a mould betokening, in the highest degree, strength and energy. The expression of the face was mingled fear and ferocity, and every moment betrayed a life of habitual caution and watchfulness."

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