Massachusetts: 1880s-1890s. Albumen and Silver Gelatin Prints, 9 ¾ x 8 ¾ - 8 x 6 inches on larger mounts, three with credits to Conant, photographer, one credited to Benjamin Freeman and one uncredited. Varying wear, very good condition overall. Very Good. Item #List01105
The Isaac Royall house in Medford, which still exists as a museum, is most notable for the existence of one of the only separate quarters for enslaved people to exist in Massachusetts. The house was used during the revolution after Isaac Royall, Jr., fled to England, and had several owners before the Daughters of the American Revolution turned it into a museum in 1898. Collected here are three photographs from the opening of the museum, likely taken by Benjamin Howe Conant, with Conant on rectos of two and the other matching an image currently on the museum’s site. Another larger albumen print shows the main house with a woman at the door, likely from the 1880s. Perhaps most interesting is the fifth image, taken by Benjamin Freeman of Somerville likely in the 1880s, with the inscription “View from Slave [illegible] Showing House in right + Driveway on left.” We find no other record of this image, which features a well dressed couple in the midground, and has retained excellent contrast.