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    Description

    Intriguing Carte: Night Rider or Medical School Reject? This highly unusual CDV, circa 1870, appears, at first glance, to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was organized after the Civil War by Nathan Bedford Forest. Its members wore black costumes with skulls and crossbones and terrorized newly-freed black citizens of the South as well as northern "carpetbaggers". Their gruesome images appeared in periodicals of the time. Various outrages prompted Congressional investigations in 1871 and condemnation by President Grant and others. This image has the back mark of Harley, Metcalf & Winter of Harvard Square, Cambridge [Massachusetts]. The night rider has the initials or word "MED" on the front of his costume and yields an ax. Given the location of the photographer, we have to wonder if this is a commentary on Harvard Medical College and one of its faculty, or a copy image of a Southern Klan member. There are some pencil inscriptions on the back side which fail to provide insight. This is certainly worthy of further research. One way or the other, the subject was inspired by then current events and the activities of the notorious night riders.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    17th Wednesday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,217

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