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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Offrank: 1900

Offrank: 1900

"Frank Hume's Mammy (between February 1894 and February 1901)." 5x7 glass negative from the C.M. Bell portrait studio in Washington, D.C. View full size.

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Musings about this lady's life

(Thanks to JeffK, for supplying the information about Louisa Ware! Apparently, my musings weren't too far off!)

I can't prove that anything I'm saying about this is true, but I see a lot in this photograph. I think this beautiful lady must have raised the Frank Hume who was born in 1843, in Virginia. Assuming she was only a teenager when she was given the infant to raise, she would be at least 80, here. I wish there was more about her, and what her relationship with Frank Hume was, even as he was getting old. But, the fact that he would have this beautiful photo of her taken of her, so long after she had raised him, suggests that the bond between them was still strong. That bond develops between an infant and whoever nurses him and cares for him, whether or not she gave birth to him, and regardless of anything like race. I can attest to that fact, having raised transracially adopted children, myself.

More on Frank Hume here:

Louisa Ware of Washington, D.C.

The Washington Bee - Saturday, October 1, 1898
The Subject of this sketch, Louisa Ware, was born a slave in the County of Culpeper, Va. in 1807 and belonged to Maj. Gen. John A. Rawlins, Gen. Grant's chief of staff and Secretary of War. She was presented to the mother of Hon. Frank Hume as her maid, Mr. Hume's mother being the daughter of Levi Rawlins. Louisa married Daniel Ware, who was the famous chief of the famous Mansion House of Alexandria, then the headquarters of the leading men of the country. They had two children, both dead. Louisa, or "mammy" as her foster children love to call her, is now nearing the ninety mark, is active and strong and enjoys excellent health and is full of practical good common sense - it is unnecessary to say she will never want while any of her foster children live as their affection for her has never been dimed [sic] by time.

I can't find the text of the book online, but Frank Hume's daughter published Louisa's memoirs: Marse Frank's old Mammy Louisa's experiences by Emma Hume Hornor (Shenandoah Pub. House 1944).

Be careful!

My wife would probably kill for that basket.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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