ca. 1860s, [hand gilt, Civil War-era ambrotype portrait of a young woman proudly wearing a Union sash across her chest]
via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1860s, [hand gilt, Civil War-era ambrotype portrait of a young woman proudly wearing a Union sash across her chest]

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1864-66, [tintype portrait of a young lady in a fur coat posed with a creative and patriotic photographic display]

"Under magnification, the topmost photograph appears to be a carte de visite of President Lincoln, below which is an image of an unidentified woman, two cartes de visite of men, one of which resembles General John T. Wilder, and at bottom an image of what appears to be Trumbull’s ‘Declaration of Independence.’  Plate’s verso affixed with a canceled three cent revenue stamp, dating it to 1864-1866.”

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1864-66, [tintype portrait of a young lady in a fur coat posed with a creative and patriotic photographic display]

"Under magnification, the topmost photograph appears to be a carte de visite of President Lincoln, below which is an image of an unidentified woman, two cartes de visite of men, one of which resembles General John T. Wilder, and at bottom an image of what appears to be Trumbull’s ‘Declaration of Independence.’  Plate’s verso affixed with a canceled three cent revenue stamp, dating it to 1864-1866.”

via Cowan’s Auctions

ca. 1854-60’s, [ninth-plate copy tintype of the lost Polycarpus Von Schneidau daguerreotype of Lincoln, taken in Chicago in 1854]
via The Rail Splitter

ca. 1854-60’s, [ninth-plate copy tintype of the lost Polycarpus Von Schneidau daguerreotype of Lincoln, taken in Chicago in 1854]

via The Rail Splitter

ca. 1865, [cabinet card of one of the boots worn by John Wilkes Booth during the Assassination of President Lincoln]
via Luminous Lint, Private collection of Graham Pilecki, LL/35130 

ca. 1865, [cabinet card of one of the boots worn by John Wilkes Booth during the Assassination of President Lincoln]

via Luminous Lint, Private collection of Graham Pilecki, LL/35130 

ca. 1863, “Before the Proclamation; After the Proclamation”, Morse & Peaslee

These two parodic cartes-de-visite, made by the Morse & Peaslee studio in Nashville, Tennessee, present an extremely simplified story of the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 through the figure of a single black boy. The boy most likely did not know how his image would be used, and the photographer probably staged the photographs by asking the boy to use different facial expressions. “Before the Proclamation,” the boy looks slack-jawed and melancholy; “After the Proclamation,” he wears a broad grin that verges on a leer. While the audience for these cartes-de-visite is not clear, the elements of caricature suggest that together they form a derisive commentary on newly freed slaves, as well as a reflection of white anxiety over the consequences of the Proclamation. Ironically, because Tennessee had been under Union control since early 1862, the Proclamation-which liberated slaves only in actively rebellious states-did not apply there. Nonetheless, Nashville felt the effects of the Proclamation, which destabilized the institution of slavery even where it did not abolish it. Slaves in Tennessee abandoned the plantations in large numbers…by early 1864. 

via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1863, “Before the Proclamation; After the Proclamation”, Morse & Peaslee

These two parodic cartes-de-visite, made by the Morse & Peaslee studio in Nashville, Tennessee, present an extremely simplified story of the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 through the figure of a single black boy. The boy most likely did not know how his image would be used, and the photographer probably staged the photographs by asking the boy to use different facial expressions. “Before the Proclamation,” the boy looks slack-jawed and melancholy; “After the Proclamation,” he wears a broad grin that verges on a leer. While the audience for these cartes-de-visite is not clear, the elements of caricature suggest that together they form a derisive commentary on newly freed slaves, as well as a reflection of white anxiety over the consequences of the Proclamation. Ironically, because Tennessee had been under Union control since early 1862, the Proclamation-which liberated slaves only in actively rebellious states-did not apply there. Nonetheless, Nashville felt the effects of the Proclamation, which destabilized the institution of slavery even where it did not abolish it. Slaves in Tennessee abandoned the plantations in large numbers…by early 1864.

via the International Center of Photography

ca. 1852-55, [daguerreotype portrait of Edwin Stanton, with his son Edwin Lamson Stanton] 
via the Library of Congress, Daguerreotype Collection

ca. 1852-55, [daguerreotype portrait of Edwin Stanton, with his son Edwin Lamson Stanton]

via the Library of Congress, Daguerreotype Collection

ca. 1858, [daguerreotype portrait of Abraham Lincoln], Christopher S.

Lincoln, with characterist modesty, professed not to be pleased with the portrait, and when he forwarded the daguerreotype to Harriet Chapman, his letter of transmittal noted that “this is not a very good-looking picture, but it’s the best that could be produced from the poor subject”…

via Christie’s Auction

ca. 1858, [daguerreotype portrait of Abraham Lincoln], Christopher S.

Lincoln, with characterist modesty, professed not to be pleased with the portrait, and when he forwarded the daguerreotype to Harriet Chapman, his letter of transmittal noted that “this is not a very good-looking picture, but it’s the best that could be produced from the poor subject”…

via Christie’s Auction

ca. 1858, “Yours Truly, A. Lincoln”, [Portrait of a beardless Abraham Lincoln, probably taken in Peoria, Illinois], Roderick M. Cole
via Christie’s Auction

ca. 1858, “Yours Truly, A. Lincoln”, [Portrait of a beardless Abraham Lincoln, probably taken in Peoria, Illinois], Roderick M. Cole

via Christie’s Auction

ca. 1857, [Portrait of Abraham Lincoln with tousled hair, ca. 1880-1890 copy by Max Platz], Alexander Hesler
via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1857, [Portrait of Abraham Lincoln with tousled hair, ca. 1880-1890 copy by Max Platz], Alexander Hesler

via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1860, [The first portrait taken of Abraham Lincoln after he had received the  nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in  Chicago], William Marsh
Abrahan Lincoln was one of the most strategic political nominees. He recognized the importance and benefit of the photograph as well as the newspapers  in securing his public image and nomination. Therefore, Mr. Lincoln sat for over 100 photographs during his lifetime, more than any other president or presidential nominee up to that time.
via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photographic Collections

ca. 1860, [The first portrait taken of Abraham Lincoln after he had received the nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in Chicago], William Marsh

Abrahan Lincoln was one of the most strategic political nominees. He recognized the importance and benefit of the photograph as well as the newspapers  in securing his public image and nomination. Therefore, Mr. Lincoln sat for over 100 photographs during his lifetime, more than any other president or presidential nominee up to that time.

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photographic Collections

ca. 1850-54, [Portrait of George Lippard]

A religious and philosophical child prodigy from Philadelphia, George Lippard was a prolific author and a steadfast defender of the oppressed. In 1847, he founded the Brotherhood of America, an organization that continues to champion the underprivileged today, and his writings are said to have awakened Abraham Lincoln to the plight of slaves. Lippard, whose best known essays recorded “Legends” of old Philadelphia, was also a close friend of Edgar Allan Poe.

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

ca. 1850-54, [Portrait of George Lippard]

A religious and philosophical child prodigy from Philadelphia, George Lippard was a prolific author and a steadfast defender of the oppressed. In 1847, he founded the Brotherhood of America, an organization that continues to champion the underprivileged today, and his writings are said to have awakened Abraham Lincoln to the plight of slaves. Lippard, whose best known essays recorded “Legends” of old Philadelphia, was also a close friend of Edgar Allan Poe.

via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

ca. 1861, [Memorial portrait of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth]

Like many Americans, Lincoln lost loved ones in the Civil War.  The death  of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth on May 24, 1861, was particularly  painful,  as he and his wife, Mary, looked upon the young man as another  son.  Lincoln ordered Ellsworth’s funeral to be held at the White  House;  during the service, Mrs. Lincoln placed this commemorative  portrait on  his casket. As the first Union army officer to be killed in  the war,  Ellsworth became a national hero.

via the Chicago History Museum, Abraham Lincoln Transformed collection on Flickr

ca. 1861, [Memorial portrait of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth]

Like many Americans, Lincoln lost loved ones in the Civil War. The death of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth on May 24, 1861, was particularly painful, as he and his wife, Mary, looked upon the young man as another son. Lincoln ordered Ellsworth’s funeral to be held at the White House; during the service, Mrs. Lincoln placed this commemorative portrait on his casket. As the first Union army officer to be killed in the war, Ellsworth became a national hero.

via the Chicago History Museum, Abraham Lincoln Transformed collection on Flickr

ca. 1865-85, “He, Being Dead, Yet Speaketh”
via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1865-85, “He, Being Dead, Yet Speaketh”

via Heritage Auctions

ca. 1865, [Rocking chair used by President Lincoln in Ford’s Theater] 
via the Library of Congress, Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints

ca. 1865, [Rocking chair used by President Lincoln in Ford’s Theater]

via the Library of Congress, Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints

"Until the handkerchief of history covers us with its Times New Roman black and white post script..."

This blog is a collection of vernacular photography and ephemera focused mainly within the curious and often misunderstood realm of 19th century America. I have a soft spot for all things silly, antiquated, macabre, and grotesque. The content is from a variety of collections; public, academic, and private. In addition, there's an occasional emphasis on Ulysses S Grant and the Civil War, as well.

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