Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Contrabands Aboard U.S. Ship Vermont, Port Royal, South Carolina

Artist:
Henry P. Moore (American, 1833–1911)
Date:
1861
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 12.9 × 20.8 cm (5 1/16 × 8 3/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.897
Not on view
In late fall 1861 or spring 1862 Henry P. Moore, a New Hampshire photographer, traveled from his home in Concord to make portraits of the Third New Hampshire Regiment in camp in Union-occupied South Carolina. While in residence, he made some of the earliest and most important Civil War photographs of slave life in the Deep South. Moore focused his camera on the changed lives of African Americans in the aftermath of the Union victory (navy and army) at the Battle of Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861. With the departure of their plantation owners, coastal plantation workers were no longer slaves but, before the Emancipation Proclamation, not yet free. They were considered "contrabands," a term coined by Union General Benjamin Butler to describe their status as conscripted former slaves who had escaped the Confederacy. The U.S.S. Vermont served in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron as a store and receiving ship, a hospital, and here as the backdrop for one of the war’s most revealing group portraits.
(Swann Galleries, Inc., October 1, 1998, Lot 1); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," April 2, 2013–September 2, 2013.

Gibbes Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," September 27, 2013–January 5, 2014.

New Orleans Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," January 31, 2014–May 4, 2014.

Related Objects

Deck of U.S. Ship Vermont

Artist: Henry P. Moore (American, 1833–1911) Date: ca. 1863 Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative Accession: 2005.100.238 On view in:Not on view

Negroes (Gwine to de Field), Hopkinson's Plantation, Edisto Island, South Carolina

Artist: Henry P. Moore (American, 1833–1911) Date: 1862 Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative Accession: 2005.100.1137 On view in:Not on view

View on the Columbia, Cascades

Artist: Carleton E. Watkins (American, 1829–1916) Date: 1867 Medium: Albumen silver print from glass negative Accession: 1979.622 On view in:Not on view