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Porte Crayon

David Hunter Strother was born in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia(now West Virginia), on September 26, 1816 and later became one of the most widely known U.S. authors of his time, using the pen name “Port Crayon,” He wrote and illustrated “The Virginia Caanan” about his adventures into the Blackwater Canyon and surrounding areas. His works continued during a stint in the Army and then during his travels. He died in 1888 at Charlestown, in Jefferson County, WV.

"His combined literary and artistic portraits of character types, ranging from hospitable Virginia squires to self-reliant Appalachian mountaineers, helped to establish archetypes that were so powerful they were adopted and reiterated by generations of subsequent writers. "

"Indeed it was Strother's special ability to speak volumes about whatever he gazed upon with just a few deft strokes of his pen that made him truly "one of the best draughtsmen" our country has ever possessed." ------ excerpted from David Hunter Strother: One of the Best Draughtsmen the Country Possesses by John A. Cuthbert and Jessie Poesch (published by the WVU Press.)

"Gathering its waters among the swampy glades of the broad, level summits of the Alleghany, the Blackwater winds in peaceful obscurity through dense overhanging forests for about twenty miles. Swelled with numerous tributary brooks and rivulets, it at length has attained a width of about fifty yards, and a considerable volume of water. Then its placid face begins to break into dimples and wrinkles, and its sluggish current freshens into a frolicsome race with the red deer that haunt its banks. Suddenly emerging from woodland shades, like a bold youth taking leave of his paternal shelter, the stream makes a wild leap into the abyss of life, and never thereafter knows peace or rest until engulfed in the Lethean pools of the Black Fork of the Cheat."

---- Porte Crayon (David Hunter Strother) from "The Virginia Caanan" as published in Harper's Monthly 1872