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    Description

    [Slavery]. Carte de Visite: "The Scourged Back." 2.5" x 4". The shocking reality of slavery is graphically illustrated in this photograph of "Gordon," a slave from St. Landry's Parish, Louisiana, who escaped bondage in 1863 and fled some eighty miles east to Baton Rouge, where he was protected by Union forces. Upon reaching Union lines, Gordon decided to enlist and while being measured for his uniform, the scars on his back were discovered. Gordon then posed for a photographer, who took this iconic photograph of his back. On the verso is printed an extract of a letter from S.K. Towle, a surgeon in the 30th Massachusetts Infantry, to the surgeon-general of the state of Massachusetts, dated April 16, 1863, in full: "I enclose a picture taken by an artist here, from life, of a Negro's back, exhibiting the scars from an old whipping. Few sensation writers ever depicted worse punishments than this man must have received, though nothing in his appearance indicates any unusual viciousness-but on the contrary, he seems INTELLIGENT AND WELL-BEHAVED." Published by McAllister & Brothers, Philadelphia.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    12th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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