Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Strother, David Hunter

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STROTHER, David Hunter, author, b. in Martinsburg, Va. (now W. Va.), 16 Sept., 1816; d. in Charleston, W. Va., 8 March, 1888. In 1829 he went to Philadelphia to study drawing with Pietro Ancora, and seven years later became a pupil of Samuel F. B. Morse in New York. He went to the west in 1838, travelling through various states, and in 1840 visited Europe, remaining five years. On his return he settled in New York, where, under the direction of John G. Chapman, he acquired the art of drawing on wood for the engravers. In 1848 he returned to his native place, and four years later published, under the pen-name of “Porte Crayon,” the first of his series of papers in “Harper's Magazine.” They relate chiefly to Virginia and the south, and were illustrated by himself. Many of them were afterward published in book-form under the title of “The Blackwater Chronicle” (New York, 1853) and “Virginia Illustrated” (1857). At the opening of the war in 1861 he joined the National army as captain and assistant adjutant-general, became colonel of the 3d West Virginia cavalry, and resigned in September, 1864. In 1865 he received the brevet of brigadier-general of volunteers. After his return to his home at Berkeley Springs he continued for several years to furnish sketches to the magazines. He was a clever writer and an artist of considerable ability. His pencil was also occasionally employed in illustrating the works of others, notably John P. Kennedy's “Swallow Barn” and “Rob of the Bowl.” In 1879 he was appointed consul-general to Mexico, which post he held until 1885.