J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Faces of the Continental Army

Visit Time magazine’s website for a “Lightbox” feature of thirteen daguerreotypes of veterans of the American Revolution, starting with Boston’s Peter Mackintosh.

These images come from the collection of Joe Bauman, whose books I described here. The article accompanying the images describes how he got into that research:
In 1976, Popular Photography featured the images of The Last Men of the Revolution [1864] in its issue commemorating the United States’ Bicentennial. One reader, a Utah-based journalist named Joe Bauman, was already an avid collector of antique photography when he came across the piece.

“I realized that if these fellows were still alive at the time when glass plate negatives were being made in the 1860s, surely there were plenty who were alive during the daguerreian era,” Bauman told TIME.

Using skills honed by a career of investigative reporting, Bauman sought out other portraits of Revolutionary War veterans. Given the breadth of the War, where most every man from age 15 to 45 was actively involved in one way or another, Bauman could cast a wide net, searching for daguerreotypes of men around the age of 80 or 90 at the time the images were taken.
The print issue of Time dated 8 July 2013 includes a smaller selection of these portraits.


Dag said...

As always an interesting post.
The Daily Mail newspaper on the U.K.
had a nice assortment of photos of men who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356524/Faces-American-revolution-Amazing-early-photographs-document-heroes-War-Independence-later-years.html

J. L. Bell said...

Those are the same photos, and the article is based on the Time posting. The Daily Mail seems to be in the habit of picking up blog postings and online articles from the U.S., rewriting somewhat, and publishing the “new” story under the byline of a “Daily Mail Correspondent.” Nice of a British newspaper to take notice, I suppose, but I’ve seen some complaints from American bloggers who’d like more direct credit for their work.