Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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ROGERS, John, sculptor, born in Salem, Massachusetts, 30 October, i829. He received his education at the Boston high-school, and afterward worked, first in a dry-goods store and later in a machine-shop, at Manchester, New Hampshire While at this latter place his attention was first drawn to sculpture, and he began to model in clay in his leisure hours. In 1856 he sought work in Hannibal, Missouri, and in 1858 he visited Europe. On his return in 1859 he went to Chicago, where he modelled, for a charity fair, "The Checker-Players," a group in clay, which attracted much attention. He produced also some other groups, but "The Slave Auction," which was exhibited in New York in 1860, first brought him to the notice of the general public. This was the forerunner of the well-known war series of statuettes (1860-'5), which included, among others, the "Picket Guard," "One more Shot" (1864), "Taking the Oath and drawing Rations" (1865), and "Union Refugees," "Wounded Scout," and "Council of War" (1867-'8). His works on social subjects, most of which have been produced since the war, have also been very popular. Among these are "Coming to the Parson" (1870); "Checkers up at the Farm"; "The Charity Patient"; " Fetching the Doctor"; and "Going for the Cows" (1873). He has produced also several statuettes ill illustration of passages in the poets, particularly Shakespeare. They include "Ha! I like not that," from "Othello "; "Is it so nominated in the Bond ?" from the "Merchant of Venice" (1880); "Wily don't You speak for Yourself ?" from "Miles Standish "; and a series of three groups illustrating Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" (1870). These statuette groups, about fifty in number, and each from eighteen to twenty inches in height, have nearly all been reproduced in composition, and have had large sales. He has been most successful in illustrating every-day life in its humorous and pathetic aspects, and "Rogers's Groups" have had a large share in elevating the artistic taste of the masses. Mr. Rogers has also executed an equestrian statue of General John F. Reynolds (1881-'3), which stands before the city-hall, Philadelphia, and in 1887 he exhibited "Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman," a bronze group.
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