|Description: ||Signed, dated, and inscribed at lower right: “SANDHILLS ON/ABSECOM[sic]/ISLAND./N.J.
U.S.A/PCameron [initials conjoined]/1894”|
Inscribed in ink on mount verso: “Original study from nature in Water Color—no
duplicates./The Sandhills near Ventnor—Atlantic City Island/before they were
leveled to make the extension to Chelsea/by P. Caledon Cameron—price $50.00
This watercolor was painted in 1894 and depicts
Absecon Island. The name Absecon is a corruption of the Indian word for “little
water,” an allusion to the saltwater lake or bay northwest of Atlantic City.
Absecon Creek, which forms the southern boundary of the town of Absecon, is
about nine miles long and flows into Absecon Bay. According to the U.S. Census,
Absecon had 530 permanent residents in 1900; the town was incorporated as a
city in 1902.
Around 1698 the famous
Scottish privateer Captain William Kidd sailed up the Atlantic Coast from the
Caribbean to Boston, where he hoped to defend himself from charges of piracy.
He stopped at a number of places in New Jersey (and elsewhere), where he was
rumored to have buried a considerable treasure. Because pirates were known
to have stopped at Cape May to obtain fresh water, it was rumored that Kidd
had buried his treasure somewhere in that vicinity.
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