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CDV of Legendary Texas Ranger & Confederate Officer Ben McCulloch

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460.     [PHOTOGRAPHY]. [McCULLOCH, BENJAMIN (sitter)]. FREDRICKS, Charles D. (photographer). Bust portrait of Ben McCulloch in formal coat and cravat, mustache and beard. Carte de visite (retouched albumen print mounted on card). Photographer’s imprint on verso: Charles D. Fredricks & Co. "Specialité" 587 Broadway, New York. Print: 9.1 x 5.6 cm; card: 10.3 x 6.8 cm. Contemporary ink inscription below image: “Ben McCullogh” [sic]. Subject also identified in pencil on card verso. New York, n.d. [ca. 1859]. Light wear to card, image very fine.

     Benjamin McCulloch (1811-1862) was born in Tennessee and knew both Sam Houston and David Crockett before any of them moved to Texas, which McCulloch did in 1835, although he arrived too late to follow Crockett to the Alamo. After commanding one of the Twin Sisters at San Jacinto, he went on to become an extremely prominent Texas figure, active as a Texas Ranger, Indian fighter, and politician. He was killed at the Battle of Pea Ridge. For more on McCulloch see Handbook of Texas Online and Item 130 herein.

     Photographer Charles D. Fredricks (1823-1894) operated in New York from 1854 through about 1890. His photographic gallery at 585 and 587 Broadway was “brilliantly illuminated with colored lanterns. The words ‘Photographic Temple of Art’ were formed by hundreds of lamps, covering a semi-circular arch of sixty feet in curve.” (Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 11 September 1858, quoted in John Hannavy (editor), Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-century Photography, New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 2008, Vol. I, p. 554). Thomas Cutrer identifies Ben McCulloch as having been in New York in 1859, about the time this portrait was likely taken (Ben McCulloch and the Frontier Military Tradition, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993, p. 164).



Auction 22 Abstracts

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