Francis Marion “SWEET POTATO DINNER” Dag Case
Excellent gutta purcha 1/4 Plate size Union Case pre-Civil War full case depicting the famed, and probably untrue, scene of Marion offering a sweet potato dinner to a captured British officer. A well known scene in American history, more detail follows the pictures.
From Union Cases: "General Francis Marion (1732 - 1795), known as 'The Swamp Fox,' was one of South Carolina's most daring and brilliant officers during the Revolutionary War. He was referred to by his contemporaries as the 'Washington of the South.' His fame arose from his tactic of swift, harassing raids against the British armies. Often when pursued, he would nimbly retreat into the familiar forests and swamps. Tradition holds that a captive English officer was offered a simple dinner of roasted sweet potatoes and cold water by General Marion. 'But surely, General, this cannot be your ordinary fare!' 'Indeed, Sir, it is,' replied Marion, 'and we are fortunate on this occasion, entertaining company, to have more than the usual allowance.' Whether true or no, this story illustrates the difficult plight and the determination of Marion's army. The encounter between 'The Swamp Fox' and the English officer was depicted by artist John Blake White (1781 - 1859). John White entitled his historical painting General Marion in Swamp Encampment Inviting a British Officer to Share His Meal. It is presently located in the United States Capitol, Senate wing. In 1840 the Apollo Association published a beautiful mezzotint engraving by John Sartain (1808 - 1897) based on White's painting. During the Civil War, the Confederate Treasury issued a ten dollar note with The Sweet Potato Dinner vignette as a central design. Finally, in 1876, Currier and Ives published a small lithograph of the famous illustration entitled, General Francis Marion, of South Carolina, in his Swamp Encampment Inviting a British Officer to Share his Dinner of Sweet Potatoes and Cold Water. As far as we are able to determine, the identification of General Marion's dinner as 'sweet potatoes and cold water' originated with the Currier and Ives title."