Patrick Reason

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NYPL ID number: 01SCCAB
Cabinet card collection


circa 1890s


Pifer & Becker


Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Patrick Reason was a classmate of Peter Guignon's at the Mulberry Street School. After his graduation, British born engraver, Stephen Henry Gimber, took Patrick into his shop for a four year apprenticeship “to learn the art, trade and mystery of an engraver,” paying his mother three dollars a week for his labor. It was during this period that Patrick did the no famous portrait of Peter Williams Jr. for St. Philip’s. He also designed a stipple engraving of a kneeling female slave with chains hanging from her wrists accompanied by the inscription “Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?,” the counterpart of the famous Wedgwood seal of a kneeling male slave produced in Britain in the late 1780s.

By 1838, Patrick was doing well enough to advertise himself in the Colored American as a “Portrait and Landscape Engraver, Draughtsman and Lithographer.” In 1840, he gave Philip White an apprenticeship in his shop until it became apparent that Philip had no talent in this line of work. By the 1850s, Patrick had a shop on Bond Street, close to the homes of fashionable New Yorkers. He moved to Cleveland in 1869 and remained there for the rest of his life.


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Pifer & Becker , “Patrick Reason,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,