Carte-de-visite, 'From life', slave's scourged back, 1864. [Manuscript reference: Adv.Ms.50.4.1, f.6]
Travelling through Boston during the 1864 presidential election, Scottish scholar John Francis Campbell bought this 'pro-Lincoln political photograph'.
Used as abolitionist propaganda, this famous image of a slave named Gordon was mass-produced, occasionally with a note from military doctor J W Mercer on the reverse.
Gordon was one of 400 'contrabands' — escaped slaves — Mercer inspected, and one of 200,000 who later served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
This item featured in our American Civil War display, 'Yankee cries and Rebel yells' at the Library from 21 January to 29 March 2015.