Portrait of a Child | Photograph | Wisconsin Historical Society

Photograph

Portrait of a Child

Portrait of a Child | Photograph | Wisconsin Historical Society
Studio portrait in front of a painted backdrop of an African American child (probably a girl) wearing a white dress. Text written on the back of the photograph reads "Mrs. Butts, next week, middle, 633 E. Johnson," which is probably a photographer's note.
DESCRIPTION
Studio portrait in front of a painted backdrop of an African American child (probably a girl) wearing a white dress. Text written on the back of the photograph reads "Mrs. Butts, next week, middle, 633 E. Johnson," which is probably a photographer's note.
RECORD DETAILS
Image ID:37383
Creation Date:circa 1900
Creator Name:Nielson, Andrew C. & Nielson, Edward, Madison, Wisconsin
City:Madison
County:Dane
State:Wisconsin
Collection Name:Lewis, Carroll S. : Photographs, circa 1880-circa 1941
Genre:Photograph
Original Format Type:photographic print, b&w
Original Format Number:M2002-184
Original Dimensions:4.25 x 6.5 inches
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
This is no doubt a child of Benjamin and Amy (Roberts) Butts. Born circa 1850 as a slave in Virginia, "Bennie" was supposedly taken in by the Fifth Wisconsin Battery when it occupied Petersburg, Virginia during the Civil War, and came back to Richland Center WI with Col.(?) Butts (whose surname he adopted). In 1870 he was a clerk in Madison, then a barber from about 1871 to 1900, when he became a messenger at the new Wisconsin Historical Society building on State St - a job he held for 30 years, until his death. He married Amy Roberts circa 1888; they had eight children, but several died as infants. They rented at 633 E Johnson St from about 1892; by 1907 they had purchased their own home at 329 E Dayton St, where they lived until their deaths in 1930 (Amy in January and Bennie in March). [This photograph would therefore have been taken circa 1892-1906.] Both are buried in Madison's Forest Hill Cemetery, next to five of their children.
SUBJECTS
African Americans
Children
Indoor photography
Portrait photography
Photography
Studios and dark rooms
Murals
Painting
Dresses

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Reference Details
Location:Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, 4th Floor, Madison, Wisconsin

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