PRETTY FRESHMAN CONGRESSMAN’S WIFE IN WASHINGTON D. C.

The pretty lady in the beaded dress is a congressman’s wife. Her husband is one of the freshman congressmen that just arrived in Washington D. C. to begin their term. They come to our capitol city flush with hopes of fulfilling their unrealistic campaign promises. It won’t take long for these new lawmakers to figure out that their main focus will be to devise ways to stay in office. Anyway, the lady in this photograph is filled with excitement. She has come to Washington with a different agenda than her idealistic husband. She is looking forward to the teas and the gala events that are so popular in this social city. She is preparing to meet the First Lady. That will be a real treat. Frances Folsom Cleveland is warm and beautiful. Her marriage to Grover Cleveland is quite the story. Grover Cleveland was the law partner of Frances Folsom’s father and knew Frances since her infancy. When Folsom died, Cleveland was the executor of his estate and he oversaw Frances’s mothers finances, as well as Frances’s education. After a scandal in which Cleveland was accused of fathering an illegitimate child; he proposed to Frances. She needed time to consider his offer and left for a European tour which included some considering. She returned to America and accepted his marriage proposal. They married in the White House, and she, at age twenty-one,  became the youngest First Lady in American history. Anyway, the fine looking lady in this photograph went to G. W. Davis, to have this image taken. Davis has a studio at 925 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington D. C.. He also has a studio in Richmond, Virginia. Here comes the moment of truth. Everything written in this blog entry is accurate with just one exception. That exception concerns the identity of the woman in this photograph. As far as I know, she is not a congressman’s wife. Her true identity has been lost to history.

FAMOUS CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES TWO WOMEN MAKING A FASHION STATEMENT IN SNOWY PAINESVILLE, OHIO

This cabinet card features two woman dressed in their winter cloaks and hats. They are in the studio of G. N. Barnard in Painesville, Ohio. The photograph has some special effects in the form of fake falling snow. The factor that makes this photograph most special, is the photographer’s life story. George N. Barnard (1819-1902), was a pioneer of nineteenth century photography. At age 23 he was producing daguerrotypes and four years later he opened his first studio in Oswego, New York. An 1853 grain elevator fire occurred in Oswego, and Barnard captured the fire with his camera. Some historians consider these photographs the first news photography in history. In 1854 he opened a short lived studio in Syracuse, New York. He then moved to New York City where he worked on stereoscopes for Edward Anthony’s Studio in 1859 .Soon, he was hired by Matthew Brady as a portrait photographer and Brady sent him to Washington D.C. to photograph Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inauguration as President of the United States. He later became part of “Brady’s Photographic Corps” to photograph the Civil War. Barnard is best known  for his work in the civil war (1861-1865). He was the official army photographer for the Military Division of the Mississippi, commanded by Union General William T Sherman. Barnard’s book “Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign” is a photographic record of Sherman’s destructive Atlanta Campaign and subsequent March to the Sea. After the war, Barnard opened a studio in Chicago in 1869. The studio was destroyed in the “Great Fire” of 1871. He proceeded to take photographs of the rebuilding of Chicago over the next few years; providing a terrific record of that process. In 1884, Barnard opened his Painesville, Ohio studio; which brings us back to the cabinet card image of the two ladies in the snow.

HANDSOME MAN BEHIND A BEARD IN WASHINGTON D.C.

A very handsome man appears in this portrait by the Johnson Brothers Studio, in Washington D.C.. He has a long and a undisciplined beard and a wonderful thick mustache.

 

AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN IN MOURNING DRESS IN WASHINGTON D.C.

BLACK MOURNING_0003This Cabinet Card is a portrait of Mrs. Brena Fantleroy who resided on P Street in Washington D.C.  She appears to be wearing a mourning dress as well as a very serious expression. Note her veil, jewelry and small purse. The photographer is F. T. Castle of Washington D.C.