unsavory initial recognition

i’ve no idea where i found this.  it’s been waiting to be posted since last july…

in light of the current posting trend over here, i found the last line to be somewhat relevant…”document(s) white recognition of beauty and attraction in their slaves.”  not quite so “flattering” as the modern recognition.

An attractive and well dressed mulatto woman from New Orleans. A sixth plate dagu

Her light skin color was itself evidence of miscegenation.
She was quite possibly a free woman and as such, the photograph would contribute little to a study of slavery. Yet the likelihood remains that she was enslaved. If so, this woman’s attractive looks and fancy dress imply she could have been owned or hired as a slave mistress.

Interracial sexual exploitation, along with brutal punishment and separation of families, was a terrible aspect of slavery. The practice was far from unknown throughout the antebellum South and existed with special visibility in New Orleans. If the daguerreotype of this woman could for a moment be interpreted in such a fashion, then commissioned by her escort, it would document white recognition of beauty and attraction in their slaves.

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