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Object Name Drawing
Artist DeGroot, Alfred
Date 1845
Title A view near the Telegraph at the Narrows.
Description Drawing in ink and gray watercolor wash on paper. The scene is identified with the handwritten title at top: "A view near the Telegraph at the Narrows." It is signed at lower left: "A de Groot / Oct/ 45" and a faint pencil inscription below the signature appears to read: "Telegraph & Fort Richd / with New York & Bedlows [illegible] in Distance." The view is a landscape with a high rounded hill near the center, surmounted by a semaphore or telegraph pole. At left is a rounded bastion, part of Fort Tompkins. The tops of trees near the waterfront appear at right with the Narrows leading to New York Harbor and Manhattan in the far distance. A figure is seated in the foreground at left, leaning on a large rock. The drawing appears to be on very thin paper which is pasted to a heavier (wove) paper. The wove paper has a watermark "J WH / TURK / 1" [probably J. Whatman, Turkey Mill, a producer of high quality paper]. The drawing measures 9.5 inches high x 12 inches wide.
(Keywords: New York, Painting)
Acquisition Museum Purchase
Ownership and History This carefully-made picture is evidence that young Alfred DeGroot (1827-1913) aspired to a career as an artist. Later in life, DeGroot was a prominent lawyer and served as District Attorney for Richmond County. Examples of his artwork were said to adorn the walls of his home in West New Brighton, Staten Island.

The semaphore telegraph, a pole with pivoting signal arms, was used to relay information regarding ship traffic in the Narrows. This was a location of great commercial and strategic importance on America's eastern seaboard.

See the book ”Staten Island Scenery: Paintings, Prints, Drawings and Photographs, 1679-1900” by Barnett Shepherd (pages 78-79) for more information.
Earliest Date 1845
Latest Date 1845
Subjects Landscape drawings
Forts & fortifications
Waterfronts
Lexicon Sub-category Art
Associated People deGroot, Alfred
Catalog Number 56.003.0001
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by The Staten Island Foundation, January 2014.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.