Mar 31, 2016 - Sale 2408

Sale 2408 - Lot 121

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION--PHOTOGRAPHY.) Pair of Contrabands (supplied title). Carte-de-visite albumen photograph of a pair of rather disheveled slaves, "contrabands," that were liberated by Union troops in and around New Orleans; fine scratch about midway across the figure on the right. Baton Rouge, LA: McPherson & Oliver, circa 1862-3

Additional Details

a rare and famous image of two slaves in deplorable straits, their clothing in tatters. They were more than likely part of the thousands liberated by General Benjamin Butler when his troops seized New Orleans from Confederate defenders. When Butler asked Washington what to do with the mass of humanity now under his charge, he was told to regard them as "Contraband of War." They were thence forward referred to as "Contrabands."