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David M. Sokol

(b Philadelphia, PA, June 23, 1822; d Claymont, DE, March 27, 1888).

American illustrator and printmaker. After being exposed early to the Neo-classical style of John Flaxman, Darley began his career as an illustrator in Philadelphia in 1842. Following a sketching trip west of the Mississippi during the summer of that year, he produced outline drawings that were adapted into lithographs appearing in Scenes in Indian Life (1843). His early book illustrations were published in periodicals such as Democratic Review and Godey’s Magazine. Working in line drawing, lithography and wood- and steel-engraving, his first major success was his series of illustrations for John Frost’s Pictorial History of the United States (1844).

After moving to New York in 1848, Darley dominated the field of American illustration with his illustrations of Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper’s tales and novels. He produced about 500 illustrations for Cooper’s novels and a similar number for Benson J. Lossing’s Our Country (1875–7...