Harrisburg and the Susquehanna, from Bridgeport Heights


Harrisburg and the Susquehanna, from Bridgeport Heights


Fanny F. Palmer
American, b. England, 1812–1876
Published by Currier & Ives




During the Civil War, Harrisburg served as an important railway hub, critical for the transportation of material for the Union army. To protect the city from invasion, several forts were constructed across the Susquehanna River, just southwest of Harrisburg. The encampment depicted here is Fort Washington, built on what was then known as Hummel’s Heights in Bridgeport (today Lemoyne) just above the Camelback Bridge, the covered bridge that spans the river on the right side of the print.

Born in England, Frances Flora (Fanny) Palmer taught drawing, and later ran a lithography business with her husband, in Leicester before immigrating to the United States in 1844. The couple settled in New York, where, because of her husband’s alcoholism, Palmer turned to illustrating calendars and greeting cards to support her family. In 1851, she joined the staff of Currier & Ives, where she soon became their premier artist, drawing, from life and on stone, more than 200 lithographs for the firm. Palmer rarely traveled beyond the New York area for her work. When required to depict a location with which she was unfamiliar, she regularly, as here, relied on photographs for the imagery.


Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Partial gift and purchase from John C. O’Connor and Ralph M. Yeager




John C. O'Connor and Ralph M. Yeager Collection, Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University


This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. Other uses are not permitted.


Lithograph with hand coloring; 17-15/16 x 23-5/16 in. (45.6 x 59.3 cm)


United States, Pennsylvania, Dauphin (county), Harrisburg