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    Description

    Wilson Chinn, a Branded Slave, Carte de Visite. 2.5" x 4.25", with no imprint present on verso. An older African American, seen pictured with various shackles, paddles, and other instruments of punishment at his feet. Chinn has also been branded across his forehead with the letters "V.B.M." Photographed by Kimball, N.Y.C., with the caption, "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by GEO. H. HANKS, in the Clerk's Office of the United States for the Southern District of New York."

    Wilson Chinn was approximately 60 years old when this photograph was taken, and had been sold to sugar planter Volsey B. Marmillion at the age of 21. Marmillion owned approximately 210 slaves, which he branded with a hot iron either on their chest, arm, or forehead. Chinn ultimately won his freedom when the U.S. Navy captured New Orleans in the spring of 1862. In December 1863, he and a handful of other former slaves were sent to pose for a number of photographs that would be used by the American Missionary Association and the National Freedman's Association to raise money for educating freed blacks in Louisiana. Photographs were sold for 25 cents each and additionally helped raise awareness of the evils of slavery. A portrait of the group of ex-slaves was also later published in Harper's Weekly on January 30, 1864. From the Bret J. Formichi American Civil War Rarities Collection.

    Condition: Light toning throughout, with minor foxing throughout. Corners are slightly worn. Ink imprint of the caption on verso at the lower edge, perhaps from where similar cards were stacked. Overall good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,564

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