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    Description

    Belle Boyd Cabinet Card Inscribed and Signed. 4.25" x 6.5", with no photographer's imprint. A studio portrait of the famous Confederate spy, seated and wearing a beautiful ruffled dress. Inscribed on the mount below the image, "Yours truly Belle Boyd The Rebel Spy 1869." On verso has been written by an unknown hand, "Belle Boyd - Rebel Spy / One of the rarest of Confederate Autographs."

    One of the most famous and notorious of Confederate spies, Isabella Marie Boyd (1843-1900) became a spy at the age of seventeen, serving the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley from her father's hotel in Front Royal, Virginia. During the spring 1862 Valley Campaign, she became a courier and provided valuable information to Generals Turner Ashby and Stonewall Jackson. A bold and daring young woman, Belle, at times, galloped headlong into the dark with cipher messages and even crept into rooms to eavesdrop on Union Army conferences. General Jackson made her a captain and honorary aide-de-camp on his staff. After being betrayed by her lover, she was arrested on July 29, 1862, and spent a month in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington. Following her exchange, she lived in exile with relatives for a time, but was again arrested in June 1863 while on a visit to her birthplace, Martinsburg, in present-day West Virginia. On December 1, 1863, she was released, suffering from typhoid, and went to Europe to regain her health. While in England, Belle had a stage career and published "Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison." She died while touring the western United States. From the Bret J. Formichi American Civil War Rarities Collection.

    Condition: The image is slightly over-exposed, but Boyd's features are still clear. Light toning and soiling around the edges. A small part of Boyd's signature is on the bottom of the albumen, and the ink has bled a small amount. On verso, the card has lost material along the upper and left edge. Some pencil notations as well. Overall good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 854

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