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Born free in 1815 in Baltimore, Maryland, John Bailey was one of the first black Americans to use sports to carve out a life of success. Having to constantly defend himself from being kidnapped and sold into slavery, Bailey quickly became a sparring master as well as an expert with pistols. Although free, Bailey lived in the slave society that offered limited rights and opportunities for free blacks. In 1838 Bailey opened his first gymnasium and was one of only a few men in the nation to do so. He taught sparring lessons and often traveled to Philadelphia and Boston for exhibitions to help promote himself and his business. Featured is an outstanding lithograph of John B. Bailey in his sparring pose. Nicely dressed and professional looking, this image portrays athleticism and confidence. Framed in dark wood, this lithograph has an outstanding look and feel. The bottom reads, "John B. Bailey - Professor Of Sparring And Gymnastics." Made by "A Trochsler & Co. Lith Boston." A few small holes and some light staining is present but does not take away from the overall great appearance of the "Professor of Sparring. "22x27" overall.
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