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Eve Black
Eve Black • 2 years ago

Said to be an army hospital nurse, this post mortem (death portrait) photograph shows a young woman holding a book, possibly a small bible or testament. The revenue stamp on the back dates this image to 1864. Annapolis was the site of one of the largest Union Army Hospitals during the Civil War and at least 5 female nurses died of diseases caught while tending patients there. Three of them died in late 1863 and two died in early 1865. The 1864 stamp on this image places it between those two time

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From an amazing series of photographs of convicted criminals in Newcastle between 1871 - 1873. Jane Farrell stole 2 boots and was sentenced to do 10 hard days labour. She was 12. (Copyright) We're happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' when reusing.

Example of a post mortem photo where eyes have been painted onto the girls eyelids so it appears her eyes are open and that she is alert. She is holding a book as if she's been reading.

  • Beverly Wilgus

    This is a photograph in my collection and I now feel that I was incorrect about the eyes being painted on the lids. This is something that I was told but my continued research is not supporting the theory that this was every done. I am returning to my original feeling that she is close to death but still alive.

Millie and Christine McCoy (1851-1912) were conjoined twins born into slavery. They and their mother were sold to a showman, Joseph Smith. Smith and his wife educated the girls; they eventually could speak five languages, dance, play music, and sing. They were known as 'The Two Headed Nightingale'. In the 1880s they retired and purchased a small farm. Millie died of tuberculosis at age 61, with Christine following hours later. They remain one of the oldest-lived set of conjoined twins.

just before the civil war started, it also shows her little doll.

.We have learned that sometimes the eyes were painted on closed lids for post mortem photographs. She is propped up on a flower printed pillow and holds a book in her hands. The white area in the lower right of the plate is a milky area that appears to be a coating problem but adds to the strange feeling of the image.

American author Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was instrumental in focusing antislavery sentiment in the North prior to the Civil War ~ known for the power of her literary voice, and for her passionate espousal of abolition.

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Presentation of the Military Medal by General Plumer to nurses for their courageous conduct when their hospital was bombed by German airmen by National Library of Scotland, via Flickr