The Picture File is a collection that covers an expansive scope of visual history. With over 6,000 items spanning the 17th to 20th centuries, it is the kind of collection that makes mining the African American experience both exhaustive and exciting. This reality is best exemplified by the presence of this photograph located in the Geographic Series.
At first glance, the photograph is rather striking, if not disturbing. An African American man standing with hands shackled, surrounded by four uniformed white men. The back of the photo however describes a different story, “Members of the Georgia Hussars with [unidentified African American man] at Clyo, GA in 1908(?) to prevent lynching of prisoner.” The inscription further notes, “This negro afterward died of tuberculosis and syphilis in Chatham County Jail while awaiting a new trial on appeal.”
The historical record of local protection against the lynching of African Americans is indeed a controversial one. But this interesting image at least captures the actual presence of authorities standing guard against violence against this incarcerated man.
Post contributed by John Gartrell, Director of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture. This is the third in a series of posts on interesting documents in our collections to celebrate Black History Month.
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The Devil’s Tale Archive
- William Golden Papers, 1911-1970. October 21, 2014
- William C. Hall papers, 1873-1876 and undated. October 17, 2014
- Dainty-Maid product brochures, 1947,1953 and undated. October 16, 2014
- Noma Lee Goodwin congressional letters on price controls, 1946. October 15, 2014
- Ernest F. Hollings senatorial report to South Carolina 1968 May 7. October 14, 2014
- Ricordo di Roma : 48 vedute October 16, 2014
- Manures, how to make and how to use them : a new, practical treatise on the chemistry of manures and manure-making October 16, 2014
- La photographie judiciaire October 15, 2014
- The last bizarre tale : stories October 14, 2014
- Tell the world you're a wildflower : stories October 14, 2014
- Proceedings of the Freedmen's Convention of Georgia, assembled at Augusta, January 10th, 1866. (Volume c.1) October 20, 2014
- Publick occurrences (Volume no.1(1690:Sep.) c.1) October 20, 2014
- Revelation by fire (Volume c.1) October 20, 2014
- The South vindicated ; (Volume c.1) October 20, 2014
- The Slave. (Volume c.1) October 20, 2014