PORTRAIT OF A WELL DRESSED MAN TAKEN IN A RAILROAD PHOTO CAR BY A CIVIL WAR VETERAN KNOWN TO BE “ECCENTRIC IN HIS HABITS”

A well dressed man poses for this cabinet card portrait taken by photographer J. B. Shane in a railroad photo car. The gentleman is dressed in his fancy clothes. He is wearing a suit with a vest and a pocket watch. He is also wearing a wide brim hat and is holding an umbrella.The photographer of this image is Captain James Boucher Shane (1840-1913). He earned the rank of captain in the Civil War where he served with distinction in the 16th Kentucky Infantry (Company D). He entered the Union Army as a Sergeant and mustered out as a First Lieutenant. After the war, he was promoted to Captain. It is my hypotheses that he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his experiences in the war. My reasons for diagnosing him 104 years after his death will become apparent later in this story. After the war Capt. Shane moved his family to Abilene, Kansas. He tried his hand at a number of businesses including farming, In 1878, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas and operated a photo studio from a railroad car as well as studios in the town of Lawrence. In 1902 he was convicted of murder and was sent to the state penitentiary until his parole in 1912. Shane’s daughter, Juno Belle Shane, operated the studio after Shane went to prison. Her husband, Herbert Thompson eventually took over the business and renamed it to the Thompson studio.  The gallery continued to do business until 1953. A collection of Shane’s and Thompson’s papers and photographs are kept by the University of Kansas libraries. I was curious about the details of Shane’s crime and further research found details about his offense. The Journal of the Annual Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic (1911) has a brief article about J. B. Shane. The journal explains that the Kansas Department of the GAR had proposed and passed a resolution to appeal to the Kansas Governor (W. R. Stubbs) to get Shane out of jail. The appeal was based on the fact that Shane was not allowed to testify on his own behalf during his trial. The appeal states that if he had been allowed to testify, charges would have been lowered to manslaughter, which had a shorter prison term than murder. He would have had to serve a maximum term of ten years for the lower charge. The appeal also explained the details of Shane’s crime. The article states that after the war, Shane had bad fortune in his photography business and became “eccentric in his habits”. It seems that the young boys in the town made sport of harassing Capt. Shane. They would annoy him by putting graffiti on his building and throwing sticks into his studio. The appeal declares that Shane was “a man of irritable temper” and reports that one day the boys threw sticks into his studio and Shane reacted by fatally shooting one of them. This occurred before the invention of the term “PTSD”, but rest assured that such a condition existed among the veterans of the civil war. It is likely that Capt. Shane was a victim of this disorder.

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A PROFILE PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY WOMAN IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (PHOTOGRAPHED BY A CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPHER)

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This cabinet card photograph features a profile view of a pretty young woman. She is wearing a high collar blouse and jacket. The young lady’s hair is worn up in a sweep and she is wearing earrings. The photograph was produced by the Carpenter Photographic Rooms in Kansas City, Missouri. Marion S. Carpenter was a daguerreotypist in Dayton, Ohio in 1850. He than conducted his photography business in Cincinnati at the Palace Art Studio between 1857 and 1865. During the Civil War he was a staff photographer for the United States Government. He photographed Abraham Lincoln on three occasions. After the war he went to Kansas City, Missouri where he continued to operate a photography business. The Bulletin of Photography (1913) notes his passing at age 84 while living in Kansas City. The notification indicates that he was still actively involved in business in 1913, the year of his death.

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PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY TEENAGE GIRL IN MARLBORO, MASSACHUSETTS

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A pretty teenage girl poses for her cabinet card portrait at the Richardson studio in Marlboro, Massachusetts. She is wearing a thick chained necklace and has flowers pinned to her collar. She is wearing her hair down and has pretty curls as her bangs. The photographer, E. P. Richardson was a civil war veteran from a Massachusetts regiment. He is listed as a photographer in a Boston directory (1871) as well as in a Marlboro directory (1894).

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PROFILE PORTRAIT OF A PROPER PRETTY WOMAN IN LOGANSPORT, INDIANA

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This post cabinet card era portrait features a profile view of a pretty woman. She looks quite proper in her fashionable clothing and with her hair gathered atop her head. She is wearing flowers as well as a lace-like necklace hanging down the front of her dress. I can’t decide it’s purpose but perhaps it is to hold a pocket watch. In fact, I believe I may see a timepiece peeking out from the top of her skirt. This image comes from the A. N. Donaldson studio in Logansport, Indiana. He did a terrific job with the soft backlighting seen in this photograph. Research revealed some biographical information about the photographer Albert Newton Donaldson (1841-1906). He settled in Logansport in 1867. Earlier, he had participated in the civil war. In 1861 he entered the service as a private and after some time left the service as a corporal. He served in Indiana’s 10th Infantry (Company H). One source reports that Donaldson deserted from his unit on 6/15/1862 at Corinth, Mississippi. A second source never mentions the desertion. The 1880 US census revealed that he was married in 1865 to Susan E Donaldson. The 1880 census, as well as the 1900 census, listed his occupation as being a photographer.

WALTER Q. GRESHAM: CIVIL WAR HERO AND HOLDER OF TWO US GOVERNMENT CABINET POSITIONS (PHOTOGRAPH BY CELEBRATED PHOTOGRAPHER C. M. BELL)

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Walter Q. Gresham (1832-1895) was quite an accomplished man in both his military and his political careers. He was an American statesman and jurist. He held offices that included US Postmaster General, Judge on the US Court of Appeals, Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Treasury. He was a two time candidate for the Republican nomination for President (1884 and 1888). He also served as a Union officer in the American Civil War. He entered the army as a Lieutenant Colonel of the the 38th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to full Colonel and led the 53rd Indiana Infantry and took part in the fight for Vicksburg as well as other battles. In 1863 he was appointed Brigadier General and commanded Federal forces in Natchez, Mississippi. In 1864 he became a division commander under General Sherman during the Atlanta campaign. He was forced to leave the army after being shot in his knee; an injury that left him lame for the remainder of his life. He was married to Matilda McGrain in 1858. Gresham is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The photographer of this historic cabinet card is C. M. Bell. Charles Milton Bell (1848-1893) was also an accomplished man. He was the youngest member of a family of photographers that operated a studio in Washington DC from around 1860 until 1874. He established his own studio on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1873. He quickly became one of the most successful photographers in the city. He was noted for his portraits of Native Americans as well as political figures and celebrities. His subjects included President Chester Arthur, Chief Yellow Bull, and Helen Keller. His photographs can be found in many prestigious institutions including The Library of Congress, Harvard University, Dartmouth University, and the Smithsonian. Bell is also known for his photographs of President Garfield’s assassin, Charles J. Guiteau. He was the only photographer authorized by Guiteau and the Government to take photographs of Guiteau and other people playing roles in his trial. Bell also took medical photographs relating to the assassination and assassin.

PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN AND HER VIOLIN IN MASSACHUSETTS

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This cabinet card photograph features a woman and her violin and bow. At least, I think its a violin. Hopefully, an informed visitor to the cabinet card gallery will confirm whether her instrument is a violin and if it isn’t, will correctly identify the stringed instrument. The portrait is a product of a photographer named W. C. Thompson. Mr Thompson operated the Opera House Studio in Amesbury, Massachusetts, as well as the Globe Studio which was located in Newsburyport, Massachusetts. One has to wonder whether the woman in this image was a performer at the Opera House in Amesbury. The Amesbury Opera House has an interesting history. P. Stevens, author of the History of Amesbury (1999) writes that the Opera House was “the most ostentatious building ever to grace the streets of Amesbury”. The citizens of Amesbury experienced a change of scenery when the building burned down in what is considered the worst fire in Amesbury’s history. A contributing factor to the lack of success that the fire department had in putting out the fire was the fact that the man in charge of keeping water pressure high to fight fires was away for the weekend and failed to designate anyone to relieve him during his time away. It seems safe to say that this portrait was photographed before the 1899 fire since the photographic studio likely also was destroyed in the the blaze. According to one source, the photographer of this image, William Cushing Thompson (1839-1917) operated his Amesbury studio between 1869 and 1893. It was located for at least some of this time at Market and Main Street. The Bulletin of Photography (1917) reported that Thompson was in the photography business when the civil war started and he temporarily quit his career to join the Union army. According to the article, he stayed in the war until it ended. Thompson entered the war as a private and mustered out as a sergeant. He served in Company A of the 48th Massachusetts Infantry. Some of Thompson’s photographs are in the collections of the New York Public Library and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Thompson was born and died in Newsburyport. He is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Newsburyport. To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Thompson”.

AN ADORABLE CHILD IN BURLINGTON, IOWA

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The child in this cabinet card portrait is a real cutie pie. Whether the darling child is a boy or a girl is anyone’s guess but I vote girl. She is wearing a lace collar and button up boots. Her hairstyle includes bangs and her head is covered by a straw hat. The photographer is J. H. Reynolds of Burlington, Iowa. Reynolds established his gallery in Burlington in 1872 and it was at some time (including 1888) located at 211 1/2 Jefferson Street. Reynolds was born in Warren County, New York in 1842. In 1863 he moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin where he studied photography. In the fall of 1863 he enlisted as a private in the 8th Wisconsin Infantry (Company H). He participated in the Red River campaign and then returned to Vicksburg. In the fall of 1864 he was discharged for physical disability after contacting disease while soldiering in the swamps of Louisiana. He then went to New York City where he worked as a photographer for six years until he returned to Burlington to open his gallery. In 1873 he married Miss May Wheeler from Mount Vernon, Iowa. Reynolds was a Mason and a member of the Knight of Pythias.

PORTRAIT OF A SOMBER OLD COUPLE

whisker coupleThis photograph features an interesting looking older couple. The husband stands in the background with a sullen expression while the wife, appearing quite intense, stands in the forefront. One wonders if the positioning in this image reflects their respective roles in their relationship. Written notations on the reverse of this photograph reveals that the subjects in the image are “Barclay and Sarah George”. The photo is dated “1900”. No photographer or location is indicated but research quickly discovered that this couple resided in Tonganoxie, Kansas at the time this photograph was produced. The 1900 Federal census revealed that Barclay  was born in Indiana in 1839, making him 60 years old at the time of this photograph. He had one parent that was born in Virginia while the other hailed from North Carolina. Sarah George was born in 1846 in Indiana, making her 53 years old when this picture was taken. Her parents were native to North Carolina. The couple was married in 1863. The 1895 and Kansas census reported that the pair still lived in Tonganoxie on their farm and had two teenage children. The 1905 Kansas census also found them residing in Tonganoxie. Further research revealed that Barclay was a participant in the War Between the States. He served in the 13th Iowa Infantry (Company B). Sarah filed for Barclay’s civil war pension in 1898 stating that he had become an “invalid”. In 1923 she filed for his pension upon his death. She made the death claim while living in Texas. Barclay George (1839-1923) is buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Pampa, Texas. An interesting side note concerns the origin of the name of “Tonganoxie”. “Tonganoxie” was the name of the chief of the Delaware tribe that occupied the area. The town was established in 1866.

UNITED STATES VOLUNTEER UNIFORMED SOLDIER AND HIS WIFE IN CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE

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This photograph features a military man with a young woman who is likely his wife. The soldier is wearing collar pins that identify him as a member of the United States Volunteers. Members of the USV were enlisted in the army but were separate from units of the regular US Army. Although volunteer regiments existed during the civil war, the USV was not officially named until the Spanish American War in 1898. The volunteer army was a quick way to supplement the regular army during times of war and was unnecessary during times of peace. This portrait was likely taken during or just after the Spanish American War. The photograph is smaller than a cabinet card. It measures 3.5″ x 5.25″. Note that the woman is standing behind the man making him appear much more prominent. It almsost seems like that she was not even in the original pose and that she was superimposed onto his photographic portrait. The photographer is A. W. Judd of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Judd was born in 1846. The book “Chattanooga” (1996) reports that Amos Wilson Judd was a civil war veteran who began his photography business in 1877. His  name and studio appears in Chattanooga’s business directories from 1890 through 1920. He died in 1929. He had two brothers who were photographers. His son succeeded him in running his studio.  Judd had two portraits appear in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1900). The Photo Beacon (1906) states that Judd was the President of the Kentucky/Tennessee Photographers Association. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1908) indicates that he held a patent for a photography invention. A confederate soldier named Amos Judd was a member of the 2nd Battalion Georgia Infantry (State Guard), Company B. He mustered in as a private and left the service with the same rank.

PORTRAIT OF A PLEASENT YOUNG WOMAN IN CHAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA

A young woman poses for her portrait at the Bishop studio in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The woman appears pleasant and quite relaxed. Unlike most cabinet card subjects, she is actually displaying a bit of a smile. The photographer, Henry Bishop, is mentioned in some accounts of the Confederate incursion into Pennsylvania during the civil war. According to Historical Reminiscences of the War  (1884), published by the Kittochtinny Historical Society, it seems that Bishop met southern General A. P. Hill in the street near his studio. They had a conversation in which General Hill asked Bishop about some of the people he had known in the area while Hill was stationed at nearby Carlisle Barracks before the war. Hill told Bishop that General Lee was on his way to town to meet with him. While he was telling Bishop that Lee was coming, Lee’s approach was seen in the distance. Bishop hurried back to his studio to prepare to  capture a picture of General Lee. He opened the studio’s windows and pointed the camera lens out the window. Unfortunately for Bishop, Lee and Hill’s meeting on the street was a brief one, and he was unable to capture the historic scene.