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Original 1867 photo of Stephen Talkhouse Pharoah found.

Greetings…In late 2013 I posted on BPH that I was researching the 1867 portrait photograph of Montauk (USA) Indian Stephen Talkhouse Pharoah that is in the 1869 Shindler Catalogue at the Smithsonian. The British connection was that it was William Henry Blackmore who funded Shindler to do the copying and that I thought perhaps the original prints or glass plates may somehow wound up in England at his Salisbury museum. It seems that they didn’t.

However, three original prints were found in the U.S., the photographer and studio location identified, and a possible scenario how the photograph got to Washington, DC from Sag Harbor, NY to be copied. All the research notes “Looking for Mr.Talkhouse” can be downloaded for free until June 1,2016 at on the DOWNLOAD page.

This is an intriguing American story that begins in 1803 with President Thomas Jefferson, British scientist James Smithson (Smithsonian),William Henry Blackmore, Smithsonian Superintendent Joseph Henry, Samuel Morse, Judge Henry P. Hedges and others. The reader will be fascinated by the intermingling of relationships, personalities, and happenstances that shaped the early years of photography in America.

I would like to thank and acknowledge three BPH members for their assistance in the research. Paula Fleming Richardson(Native American Photography at the Smithsonian,The Shindler Catalogue) who generously provided insights from her research on the Shindler Catalogue and guiding commentary as the research progressed. Anthony Hamber for his book Collecting the American West, The Rise and Fall of William Blackmore and, author and collector Neil McDonald who identified the original print which was in an unmarked folder at the New York Public Library.

Many appreciations.

Kevin J. McCann

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