Alexander Gardner

Portrait of a US Army officer with his wife, two children, and a Native American child at Fort Mohave, Arizona Territory, c. 1869. By Alexander Gardner.

Source: Boston Public Library.

Planning the Capture of Booth

Alexander Gardner 1865

Alexander Gardner’s long-term relationship with the federal government and the Army of the Potomac gave him unparalleled access to subjects other photographers could not attain, especially in the days following John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of the president. Here, Secret Service Director Colonel Lafayette Baker sits and studies maps of the area where Booth was believed to be hiding in Maryland or Virginia.

The portrait, in wood-engraving form, illustrates a long article published by Harper’s Weekly on May 13, 1865. According to the news story, government agents found Booth in a barn near Port Royal, Virginia, and demanded that he surrender. He refused, and when they warned him that soldiers would set fire to the barn, Booth responded: “Well then, my brave boys, prepare a stretcher for me.” Booth was shot as he attempted to escape the conflagration and died three hours later.        

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Here’s the front and back of both Capsule Monsters DVDs. ^^ The first one has a trailer for season 5 and Yu-Gi-Oh GX, while the second has a trailer for both Capsule Monsters movies, GX, and other 4Kids stuff.

“In 1865, young Lewis Payne tried to assassinate Secretary of State W.H. Seward. Alexander Gardner photographed him in his cell, where he is waiting to be hanged. The photograph is handsome, as is the boy: that is the studium. But the punctum is: he is going to die. I read at the same time: This will be and This has been. I observe with horror an anterior future of which death is the stake. By giving me the absolute past of the pose (aorist), the photograph tells me death in the future. What pricks me is the discovery of this equivalence. In front of the photograph of my mother as a child, I tell myself: she is going to die. I shudder, like Winnicott’s psychotic patient, over a catastrophe which has already happened. Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe.”

-CAMERA LUCIDA, Roland Barthes

Scouts and Guides to the Army of the Potomac, Berlin, Maryland, October 1862

Maker: Alexander Gardner

Nationality: Scotland/USA

Medium: albumen print from wet collodian negative

During the American Civil War (1861-1865) vast numbers of photographs were taken but there are few illustrated works as well known as highly regarded as Gardner‘s Photographic Sketchbook of the War compiled by Alexander Gardner. The two volume album contained 100 albumen prints in total with 50 tipped in plates in each volume accompanied by a descriptive text possibly by Alexander Gardner. The book was published by Philip & Solomons (Washington) in two editions, one thought to have been published in 1865 and the other in 1866.