McPherson & Oliver

41097.

“Intelligent Contrabands” in manuscript bottom recto. From a description by James Arsenault: One of a series of photographs of slaves taken by McPherson & Oliver in Louisiana during the Union occupation, likely in Baton Rouge where many slaves came to the Union line following the occupation in May of 1862. Pictured are two African American men in what appears to be a makeshift studio with a hanging sheet for a backdrop and bare ground. The men are dressed in rags, one of them barefoot. A noxious period inscription, meant to cast the photo as a satire, reads “Intelligent Contrabands.”

 

 

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