Man from Savannah, Georgia

Click here to see it larger.

What it is:

Carte de visite (CDV) measuring approx. 2.5 x 4.25 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is Havens of Savannah, Georgia.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


The rather haphazard way in which I’ve amassed my photos, grabbing whatever strikes my fancy (in my price range) rather than working on building some academically focused set, has left me occasionally aware of gaps that might be worth filling.  I’ve noticed, for instance, a lack of 19th Century photos that can be identified as originating in the American South, and I don’t think I’ve posted any from south of Missouri.  With that in mind, I was delighted to stumble upon this photo while looking for something to post today.  Although I’ve posted photos of people who lived when he did, his life in the Deep South shortly after it was ravaged by the Civil War must have been fundamentally different in many ways.  Yet this photo looks like any other of its time, so I wonder how much of what I’m assuming about this young man’s life is true or is just based on my preconceived notions of life during Reconstruction.  Then again, I wonder what I think I’m supposed to be able to tell about his life from a simple headshot.  The photographer Havens, by the way, is likely O. Pierre Havens, a Northerner (from Ossining, New York) who moved south after the war.  He was in business in Savannah from 1872 to 1888 before moving on to Florida, so if he’s our photographer here, we can date the photo to those years.

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