Looking a Maryland Confederate in the Face: D. W. Culpepper Tintype of Charles Harvey Stanley

If the image on this tintype is, as I think possible, Charles Harvey Stanley (1842-1913), then the operator at D. W. Culpepper’s gallery captured the 24-year-old not long after he mustered out of the Confederate army, ca. 1866.

Ross Kelbaugh’s Directory of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900 lists D. W. Culpepper as occupying 127 W. Baltimore Street from 1866-1868. Culpepper has included “Successor to Leach’s” on the back, which helps confirm the date; William Leach occupied that address ca. 1863-1865. He may have bought back the gallery from Culpepper, because Leach again occupied 127 W. Baltimore Street 1868-1870.

If you look at the two other photographs of Charles H. Stanley that are accessible on the web, his distinctive hairline is the same, but on the opposite side. The technology of tintype photography explains this: Tintypes turned a negative image into a positive, so the image is reversed left to right.

One can trace a few faint lines of penciled signature behind the ink. The ink signature is not identical to the one he provided for his portrait and biographical sketch in volume one of 1907’s Men of Mark of Maryland, but there are similarities. If this portrait was a gift to his younger sister Eliza Stanley (1850-1928) she may have inked over the original pencil inscription.

Born in Saybrook, Connecticut but raised in St. Mary’s County and Laurel, Prince George’s County, Maryland, Charles was the son of an outspoken southern sympathizer, Rev. Harvey Stanley (1809-1885). Stanley was rector of Laurel’s Holy Trinity Episcopal Church from 1851 until his death.

During the run-up to the Civil War, Prince George’s County had the highest population of enslaved African-Americans in the state, and much of the white population identified with the Confederacy.

So, clearly, did Charles Stanley. In 1862, he traveled to Virginia to enlist  in the Confederate forces. He joined Company B of the First Maryland Cavalry Regiment and served until the southern forces surrendered in 1865.

By all accounts, Charles Stanley integrated easily and successfully into post-war Prince George’s County life. He studied law,  developed a prosperous practice, and became involved in many of the civic institutions of the county and the state. He was deeply interested in education, and was president of the Prince George’s County Board of School Commissioners as well as a trustee of the Maryland Agricultural College.

During his long career he was also elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, served as mayor of Laurel and as Comptroller for the State of Maryland under Governor Austin L. Crothers.

Both of Charles Stanley’s wives came from southern planter families with deep Maryland roots. Ella Lee Hodges (1844-1881) descended through her mother from some of the founders of Anne Arundel County.   His second wife, Margaret Snowden (1858-1916), was descended from one of the earliest settlers and largest landowners in Maryland, Richard Snowden.

Raised in Maryland’s plantation/slave economy, Charles fought for that way of life and married into it. He and his second wife, Margaret (Snowden) Stanley are buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery, Laurel, Md., in the heart of a region that today, ironically, boasts  the  most highly educated and “wealthiest African American-majority county in the United States.

Hannah and Her Sister: Gem Tintype of Christiana Schaeffer Warehime and Hannah Schaffer Leister

Gem tintype of Hannah Schaeffer Leister and Christiana Schaffer Warhime ca. 1863This gem-size tintype of Hannah Shaeffer Leister  (1803-1867) and Christiana Schaeffer Warehime (1798-1863) of Carroll County, Maryland had to have been taken in 1863, when the Wing gem tintype camera was invented, because Christiana died in 1863.

Gem tintypes were the most inexpensive way to get many copies of a likeness at once. The camera had 16 lenses, which exposed 16 images, each the size of a postage stamp, onto an iron plate. These were mounted between two pieces of paper or cardboard. The scoring at the top of the card mount may indicate where the mounted images were divided.

Photographers often used tinting to add warmth and life to the dark images, such as has been applied to the cheeks of the sisters here.

Westminster and environs were populous enough to support at least one photography studio. During this period, according to Carroll County photo historian Bob Porterfield, Henry B. Grammer  kept a studio at “the Point,” where Pennsylvania meets West Main Street (Photographers & Photographs of Carroll County 1840-1940, Hampstead, Md., 2004)

Judging from the number of family trees on ancestry.com that include Hannah and Christiana Schaeffer, there seems to be wide interest from descendants. But many of them lead back to the same source, a mysterious 1999 file called PAUL.FTW.

One important source may be a 2000 family history called Descendants of Johann Diel Bohne by Mary Frances Conner Williams, Jennie Gunderson Board, accessible only in a handful of libraries across the country and probably at the Historical Society of Carroll County.

From what I’ve been able to glimpse of this book on the web, Hannah and Christiana were the children of John Jacob Schaeffer (1755-1828) and Anna Maria Pouder. Both Hannah and Christiana married Westminster-area farmers: Hannah to David Leister (1790-1868), and Christiana (also known as Anna or Christina) to George Warehime (1790-1880).

The best evidence I’ve located are the many carefully documented graves in Carroll County cemeteries. John and Anna Maria Schaeffer, along with Hannah Schaeffer Leister and many others, are buried in Kriders Lutheran Church Cemetery near Westminster, Maryland.

Christiana Schaeffer Warehime and many other Warhimes are buried in Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery, Bachman Valley, Carroll County, Maryland.

Hannah and Christiana dressed alike and have arranged their hair alike as well. Only slight differences in the style of buttons and the patterns of their white linen collars distinguish their costumes. But what draws the viewer is the way the sisters lean into one another, a posture that expresses the affection that led them to have their portrait taken not with their husbands or children, but together, as sisters.

Field Trip to Philadelphia: Florence Fisher Webb West

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On first reacquainting myself with Baltimore and environs some years ago, one thing that impressed me was the refreshingly utilitarian method of naming roads. Near my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ homes runs Philadelphia Road, which I prefer to call “the” Philadelphia Road–because that’s exactly what it was–the road to Philadelphia.

Recently I found myself  taking a metaphorical trip up the Philadelphia Road to explore the family ties of Mrs. Florence Fisher Webb West. After acquiring  a cabinet card identified as Mrs. Frank West by the Russell & Co. studio, No. 5 North Charles Street, Baltimore, I became increasingly interested in a collection of related family photos, mostly taken in Philadelphia.

Florence Fisher Webb was born in Philadelphia about 1871 to bookkeeper Samuel Webb (1842-1932) and Maria Christiana (Dunnott) Webb (1845-1928). Florence spent at least part of her childhood in the Philadelphia household of her aunt and uncle, Eliza Dunnott Gibson and bookbinder George Gibson.

Florence’s middle name honors her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Fisher Dunott (1824-1897). The Dunott family appears to have originated in Delaware, while the Webbs go far back in Philadelphia. Florence’s grandfather, John Webb, went to sea as a youth, served with the city militia during the nativist riots of 1844, and prospered as a hotel owner.

Florence married hardware salesman Frank West in 1897, son of Emma and Edwin West (1844-1909), an English-born bank clerk. Florence and Frank had one child, Jack Edwin West, born in 1899. Frank does not appear to have done particularly well financially. At first they lived with her parents at 1706 N. Sydenham Street, a neighborhood of three-story, two-bay Italianate row houses near what is now Temple University. In 1910 he gave his occupation as manufacturer of garters. In 1920 he was a “sanitary engineer” at an ordnance depot in Salem County, New Jersey.

1930 found Florence a widow. She and her son were again living with her parents on Sydenham Street in Philadelphia. After that, the trail goes cold. I know she was alive in 1932, because I found a record of invoices sent to her for the funeral and grave for her father with that date, addressed to her at 1706 N. Sydenham Street. That is the last trace of Florence Fisher Webb West.

Her son Jack lived alone in 1940, and gave his occupation at salesman in a sporting goods store. I learned that he served in the Army during World War II, but not what became of him afterwards.

I have another Russell & Co. portrait of Florence’s mother Maria, possibly taken during the same period. But what drew them to Baltimore? I still don’t know.

From Susan Bear’s Album: Levi Rowland Bear

There are six tintype portraits of children in Susan Bear’s photograph album, all identified, all in the same period ink hand, all by anonymous photographers.

These were the children of John M. and Elizabeth Bear, emigrants from Washington County, Maryland to the Church of the Brethren-dominated “Maryland colony” in Ogle County, Illinois.

Ogle County, centered on the village of Mt. Morris, began to attract transplants from Washington County in the 1830s. Members of the Church of the Brethren, in particular, were drawn to the hilly, sparsely-settled prairie west of Chicago.

According to the laudatory Mount Morris: Past and Present, a 1900 history published locally in Mount Morris by the Kable Brothers, the earliest settlers were “so impressed by the beauty of the country and the richness of the soil,” well-watered by springs and streams, that they determined to settle there.

In 1836, two men from Washington County, Nathan Swingley and Samuel M. Hitt, brought a number of Maryland men to the area as laborers, “promising them $1.00 a day for service in building houses, splitting rails and building fence, breaking the prairie and harvesting the crops” (Mount Morris, Past and Present, 13).

The typical route was “by wagon to Wheeling, West Virginia, by boat on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers to Peru, and the remaining distance by wagon” a trip of perhaps more than 800 miles (13).

John M. Bear (b. abt. 1822, Washington County, Md.), made his move in 1844, and while working initially for well-to-do Maryland emigrant John Coffman, took up a claim in 1849  in Pine Creek Township, some 10 or so miles south of Mount Morris village, east of the Rock River.

There John Bear and his wife, Martha Elizabeth, prospered, and six children were born to the couple between 1856 and 1865:

Isaac Martin Bear 1855, John Buchman Bear 1857, Rose Miranda 1860, Levi Rowland Bear 1861, Lily Almira 1863, and Mary Kate 1865.

Their situation began to deteriorate with their father’s death in 1878. Elizabeth continued to farm with the aid of the boys, but about 1886, she, along with Isaac, Levi and Kate, moved to Mount Morris Village, where Levi took up work as a barber.

Mount Morris: Past and Present mentions Levi several times as an up-and-coming young businessman who was entering into village life with vigor. He played violin in a small orchestra, and belonged to a fraternal order called the Modern Woodmen of America.

After their mother’s death in 1903, Levi, Lily and Mary Kate made a big decision: They left their settled lives in Mount Morris to pioneer, once again,  in Williams County, North Dakota.

Levi took 160 acres on the southern edge of Tyrone Township; Kate took an adjoining 80 acres just south of the township line in Missouri Ridge Township, and Lilly another 160 adjoining Kate’s land to the south of Lily’s–460 acres in all, about 10 miles north of Williston, North Dakota.

They called their new home Four Bear Ranch, and seemed to prosper.

Mary Kate died in 1916; Lily, now in her 50s, continued to keep house for her brother.

On 9 April 1923, Levi Rowland Bear hung himself in their barn. According to his obituary in the Williams County Farmers Press, he planned his death so that two of his friends would be coming to the ranch in time to find him, in order that his sister would not discover his body alone.

“It is thought,” said the paper, “that despondency was the cause of his act.”

Isaac Bear left a note for Lily. It said “Dear Sister, you will forgive me for this for I am too crazy to live.”

He is buried in Riverview Cemetery, Williston, North Dakota. His grave is unmarked.

Charles P. Lusby, Tintype Photogapher

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Charles P. Lusby operated a photography studio at 127 West Baltimore Street from 1872 to 1875. (The block between South and Calvert streets became East Baltimore Street after street renumbering in 1887.)

This perfectly conventional tintype, composed in the style of cartes de visite of the 1870s–fake pillar, now with one of the new painted backgrounds–reflects the vast output of photographs during the Civil War and post-bellum period.

Tintypes (actually black or chocolate brown japanned iron), invented in the U.S. in the 1850s,  became popular during the Civil War as a more durable and cheaper alternative to the ambrotype and card photograph. Special cameras with from four to 36 apertures made it possible to make multiple exposures simultaneously on a single plate.

“The card photograph,” says photography historian Robert Taft, “was the favorite form of photograph for the soldier boy to leave with his family when he departed for camp.”

But “the boy in camp found that these tintypes would stand the vicissitudes of the army mail service far better than card photographs or ambrotypes” (Taft, Photography and the American Scene, 159).

After the war, says Taft, “A class of operators grew up who developed galleries which made the tintype their specialty” (163).

Born near Chesetertown, Kent County in 1843 to farmer Charles Thomas Lusby and Mary Araminta Boyer Lusby, Charles Lusby  killed himself in the home of his brother-in-law, S. Rowe Burnett,  in May 1889.

The article published in the SUN says that although successful in his business, Lusby had been sick and depressed. He left a wife and three children.

Lusby first came to my attention as part of my research into the Summers-Gaither family album. The album includes a portrait of Allen Lusby. Although several Lusbys appear in the Summers-Gaither family tree, it’s not yet clear how the Lusbys are connected to them.