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Fannie Virginia Casseopia Lawrence carte de visite

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: ViU-2021-0149

Content Description

This collection contains a carte de visite, of Fannie Virginia Casseopia Lawrence, a formerly enslaved child. The caption states "A Redeemed Slave Child, 5 years of Age. Redeemed in Virginia by Catherine S. Lawrence; baptized in Brooklyn at Plymouth Church by Henry Ward Beecher in May 1963. Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1863, by C. S. Lawrence, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York." Photographed by the Kellogg Brothers, Hartford, Connecticut. Fannie was widely photographed during this period. Scholar Mary Niall Mitchell, in her article "Rosebloom and Pure White," Or So It Seemed" notes “To fully understand the appeal of these portraits and the particular ways in which audiences might have read them, we must look in several directions: to Civil War stories of "white slaves," popular representations of white and black children in the nineteenth century and those of girls in particular, to antislavery ideas and white audiences' fantasies about light-skinned enslaved women, to the significance of the new "truth-telling" medium of photography, and into the labyrinth of race that both guided and confused white northern sympathies. Although it is difficult to know who saw these images or purchased them, their production at a time when white working-class people were openly opposing the Civil War—most notably during the New York Draft Riots of 1863—suggests that they were aimed at a broad northern audience rather than just limited to middle class viewers. Indeed, the girls' portraits seem to have been, in part, an effort to circumvent issues of class by pressing the argument that southern enslavement threatened the freedoms and privileges of all white people.” Mitchell, Mary Niall. "Rosebloom and Pure White," Or So It Seemed." American Quarterly 54, no. 3 (2002): 369-410. doi:10.1353/aq.2002.0027.

Acquisition Type



Purchase, 21 September 2021.

Restrictions Apply



  • Creation: May 1863


.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter size folder)


1 carte de visite