Posted on 12/13/2010

Photo taken on 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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Old Photographs Old Photographs

Genealogy Genealogy


Vintage Clothing
African American Man
Vintage Portrait
Circa 1855
Name unknown

Authorizations, license

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A Well Suited Man

A Well Suited Man
Subject and Photographer unknown.

The collector/author chose to give this image the title 'Reflective Man' along with the following viewpoint:

This man is reflecting, but we have no window into his mind. To see his face turned inward suggests he had pleasant things to reminisce about, but while the camera captured the essence, we will never know the thought.

Personally, that's not what I gathered from this image. I think he's sitting there with a slight grin ... prideful of his formal attire with the knowledge that this is perhaps his first time (maybe the first in his family) to have a formal portrait taken. Simple as that. Who was he? What did he do in life? Was he a former slave? Did he have a hard cruel life? Was he able to live long enough to see his kids/grandkids labeled as 'free' and not slave?

'Hidden Witness: African American Images from the Dawn of Photography to the Civil War' by Jackie Napolean Wilson

Jackie Napolean Wilson Collection