Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper - Virginia Battlefield Memorial - No 1,497 Volume LV111, New York for the week ending May 31, 1884. Cover features the likeness of the Virginia Battlefields beneath the following inscription, "ON MARYE'S HEIGHTS. - GENS. ROSECRANS (1) AND LONGSTREET (2), WITH THE HISTORIAN, MAJOR STINE (3), EXAMINING THE PLAN OF THE BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, THE VIRGINA BATTLE-FIELDS -VISIT OF MEMBERS OF THE FIRST ARMY CORPS AND CONFEDERATE OFFICERS TO FREDERICKBURG, CHANCELLORSVILLE AND THE WILDERNESS, MAY 15-17TH, FROM SKETCHES BY JOSEPH BECKER. Professionally framed, frame measures approximately 18" h x 13 1/4" w.
Inventory Number: DOC 074
Frank Leslie (March 29, 1821 – January 10, 1880) was an English-born American engraver, illustrator, and publisher of family periodicals.
Leslie was born on March 29, 1821, in Ipswich, England as Henry Carter, the son of Joseph Carter, the proprietor of a long-standing and prosperous glove manufacturing firm. He was educated in Ipswich and he then trained for commerce in London. As a boy on his way to and from school, he passed a silversmith's shop whose workers he took a detailed interest in, especially those who engraved designs and letters upon various articles of silver and gold. He took note of the tools that were used and the manner of using them and acquired the necessary tools to do the work himself. At the age of 13, he did his first wood engraving of the coat of arms of his home town.
At 17, he was sent to London to learn more about the glove-making business in the extensive dry goods establishment of his uncle, but every moment that could be snatched from the “dreary drudgery of the desk's dead wood” was surreptitiously devoted to sketching, drawing or engraving. His father, uncle and relatives so discouraged his artistic aspirations, that he was constrained to keep his work a secret from them. He contributed sketches to the Illustrated London News, signing them as Frank Leslie to insure his anonymity. These were so cordially welcomed that he eventually gave up commerce and was made superintendent of engraving on that journal. He made himself an expert and inventor in his new work. It was here that he learned the operation known as overlaying – the system of regulating light and shade effects – in pictorial printing, a system which he was the first to introduce to the United States.
He was first married in England, and had three sons with his first wife, Harry, Alfred and Scipio. He and she separated in 1860. He legally changed his name to Frank Leslie in 1857.
In 1848 he came to the United States, in 1852 working for Gleason's Pictorial in Boston. He discovered he could accelerate the engraving process significantly by dividing a drawing into many small blocks and distributing the work among many engravers. A job on a large-format wood engraving which might have taken a month for a single wood engraver to complete, could be completed in a day by 30 engravers.
In 1853, he arrived in New York City to engrave woodcuts for P. T. Barnum's short-lived Illustrated News. After its failure, he began publishing the first of his many illustrated journalistic ventures, Frank Leslie's Ladies' Gazette of Fashion and Fancy Needlework, with good woodcuts by Leslie & Hooper, a partnership which dissolved in 1854. The New York Journal soon followed, with Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (1855) (called Leslie's Weekly), The Boy's and Girl's Weekly, The Budget of Fun, and many others. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, which included news as well as fiction, survived until 1922.
Illustrations made by Leslie and his artists on the battlefield during the American Civil War are well regarded for their historical value. He was commissioner to the Paris Exhibition of 1867 and received a prize there for his artistic services.