Henry Louis Stephens

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Henry Louis Stephens, untitled watercolor of a black man reading a newspaper by candlelight, c. 1863. The paper's headline reports the Emancipation Proclamation.

Henry Louis Stephens (February 11, 1824 – December 13, 1882) was an American illustrator and editorial cartoonist.


Stephens was born in Philadelphia. About 1859 he went to New York under an engagement with Frank Leslie, and after a year or so transferred his services to Harper & Brothers. Stephens was a prolific artist, and accomplished a great amount of work for book and magazine illustration.

Stephens was well known as a caricaturist, excelling especially in the humorous delineation of animals, and drew cartoons and sketches for The Cyclopedia of Wit and Humor (1858), a book edited by William Evans Burton, Vanity Fair (1859–63), Mrs. Grundy (1869), Punchinello (1870), and other periodicals. He contributed artwork to Mark Twain's comic memoir, Roughing It and the novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. He illustrated some children's books, including Aesop's Fables, Death of Cock Robin, and The House that Jack Built; he wrote and illustrated The Goblin Snob (c. 1855), a satirical poem, as well as The Comic Natural History of the Human Race (1851). He gave some attention also to painting in watercolors, but rarely exhibited his works. He died in Bayonne, New Jersey.



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