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Unidentified Photographer: "Gen Lee's Slaves"

I am investigating the unidentified photographer of the accompanying rare stereoview of Selina Gray (with two children), the Arlington House slave with whom Mrs. Robert E. Lee entrusted the keys and care of the Custis-Lee Mansion before evacuating Arlington Plantation in May 1861. The photo was purchased recently by Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, from an ebay seller in the UK. Given the photographer of other Civil War-era stereoviews of Washington City sold by the ebay seller from the same lot of vintage photos were by G.D. Wakely, George D. Wakely may well be the unidentified photographer. However, little is known about Wakely other than he was originally British and largely spent his career as a pioneer photographer in the US, including in Washington, DC, during 1865-1870. I presume the recently sold stereoviews were previously owned by a UK collector. But, a UK relative possibly received the images before or after Wakely's death (Wakely had no known natural descendants, only step-children from his US marriage to British actress, Matilda Brown). I am also interested in uncovering leads to any surviving photo notes or inventory Wakely might have left to archives in either the UK or US.

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Comment by Kenneth C. Burkhart on April 9, 2020 at 15:35

Here's a site with some info on George D Wakely that might be useful:

Hope its helplful,


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