About this Artwork
Rogers created plaster sculptures designed for a wide audience; however, his hard-hitting subjects confronting slavery were most popular within the abolitionist community. The Frémonts owned a version of this sculpture as part of a small art collection devoted to the abolition of slavery and the promotion of California as a free state. The Wounded Scout shows a fugitive slave assisting a wounded soldier. The copperhead snake coiled at his feet is a symbol of anti–Civil War Democrats who advocated an immediate settlement with the Confederacy and, in some cases, undermined the Union. This was among the artist’s most popular Civil War subjects; Rogers sent a copy of The Wounded Scout to President Abraham Lincoln.