Thomas Morton and Martha Frances Brown were twins born on February 17, 1838 in Pike County, Georgia to Stephen Justus Brown (1798-1857) and Susanna Lacy (1817-1878). Stephen and Susanna were actually cousins, the children of sisters Francis and Anne Durham of North Carolina. Their ancestors settled in the area and were responsible for naming Durham, North Carolina. Stephen’s father, John R. Brown, was a captain in the Revolutionary War who was born in Virginia and moved to the Chapel Hill/Durham area. John would later move to Baldwin County, Georgia. He married Frances Durham after his first wife died. Stephen and Susanna moved to Pike County, Georgia in 1828 and settled on Zebulon Road about two miles west of Barnesville. He was listed as a farmer in the 1850 census.
Martha Frances married Benjamin Charles Milner (1832-1902) on December 27, 1853 when she was 15 years of age. Her daguerreotype was likely made at about the time of their marriage based on case and mat characteristics. The Milner family was prominent in the area and was involved in railroad construction. Benjamin Charles and Martha were living in Baldwin County, Alabama near Stockton in the 1860 census as they were in the area for railroad construction. Incidentally, it appears that Thomas Morton was living with them at the time and was listed in the census as a “railroad overseer”. He had apparently joined in his brother in law’s railroad construction endeavors. Martha died on February 10, 1910 and is buried in Zebulon Street Cemetery in Barnesville.
Thomas Morton enlisted on May 7, 1862 in Griffin, Georgia to Captain Obadiah C. Gibson’s company of light artillery (Griffin Light Artillery). This unit was later led by Captain John Scogin and became known as Scogin’s Battery of Georgia Light Artillery. The unit was initially in John King Jackson’s brigade of Withers’ division in the Army of Tennessee. They were later transferred in August 1863 to Cheatham’s division. Brown was killed in action at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19, 1863.
The image of Brown was taken on March 2, 1863 based on the case inscription. In the image, Brown wears a dark unbuttoned jacket with 5 of the buttons visible but gilded. The jacket does not appear to have any insignia. His belt buckle is an imported “snake buckle” that has been gilded. He also has two revolvers tucked in each side of his belt. The image is presented in a Berg 5-21 “fold over” leather case. This case was popular in 1858-1865. The inscription on the pad of the case reads:
“March the 2nd ‘63
Killed in battle of
Sept. 19 1863.
Apparently Morton was the only member of the unit killed in the battle as Captain Scogin’s report noted that only one private was killed in the action.
The first of Benjamin Charles and Martha’s children was Tilola Warthen “Lola” Milner. She was born on February 28, 1855 in Barnesville. She was 5 at the time of the 1860 census. Lola was responsible for the inscriptions that accompany this image grouping. Her image was likely taken in 1859-1860 based on case characteristics. Lola would die on July 11, 1936 in Atlanta, Georgia. The ninth plate ambrotype of Lola shows her at about 5-6 years of age wearing a dress with checks. She wears a gilded round medallion around her neck. The image has some loss to the lower right side. It is presented in a Nolan #826 (Morgan’s geometric) full case.
Edward Livingston Hopkins was born on June 14, 1834 in Flatbush, New York to John Derrick Hopkins (1808-1885) and Jane Jones (1811-1895). His parents emigrated to the United States from England on December 5, 1833. John was a carriage maker and artist. It seems that he primarily performed carriage painting. They were living in New York during the 1840 census but moved to Natchez, Mississippi in the following years.
By the 1860 census Edward had entered the business world as a saddler. He reportedly worked at the prominent saddler, harness and carriage company of the area, Livingston and Rountree. It was about at this time (1859-1860) that he entered a local militia company, the Adams Light Guard, as a lieutenant. When the war began this unit would become Company D of the 16th Mississippi Infantry after a brief stint in state service. Edward entered as a 2nd lieutenant. The unit was sent to the eastern theater and was mainly training until elections were held at the end of the one year enlistment. He was not elected as an officer at that time and he resigned to return to Mississippi. He then enlisted on May 4, 1862 in Jackson, Mississippi as a Junior 2nd Lieutenant in Company F of the 31st Louisiana Infantry. He would be promoted to full 2nd Lieutenant on January 1, 1863. The unit was engaged at Chickasaw Bluff and lost 9 killed and 16 wounded. Edward was surrendered at Vicksburg in July 1863 and paroled. The unit was placed in A. Thomas’ Brigade in the Trans-Mississippi Department and fought in various conflicts in Louisiana. He was eventually promoted to 1st Lieutenant. The 31st was consolidated in January 1864 with the 3rd, 17th, 21st (Patton’s), 22nd, 26th, 27th and 28th (Thomas’) Louisiana Infantry Regiments to form the 22nd Louisiana Infantry Regiment.
After the war Edward would move back to Natchez. He apparently moved to Galveston, Texas briefly as he is listed there in the 1870 census. He is back in Natchez by the 1880 census as a saddler and living with his parents. He would work for the firm Rumble and Wensel for a time and in 1888 he opened his own business, Messrs. Hopkins & Co, where he continued to sell saddles, harnesses and carriages. It appears that he was married for a brief period of time as the 1890 census notes that he was widowed and married in 1882. He died on May 31, 1910 in the home of his nephew and is buried in the Natchez City Cemetery.
In this finely tinted melainotype he is wearing a gray shell jacket with dark piping to the center and collar. There are two rows of dark piping at the sleeves. He wears a secession cockade on his jacket that is tinted red and blue. His kepi is gray with a dark band. His trousers have been tinted as well. He is identified behind the image in period writing “Edward L. Hopkins”. This is likely the uniform of the Adams Light Guard when they entered Confederate service. Company D was commanded by Captain Samuel E. Baker and the regiment was initially commanded by Colonel (future General) Carnot Posey.
This quarter plate daguerreotype depicts a young boy in striped pants, a jacket with lace up sleeves, and a white shirt with a stiff, ruffled collar and cuffs. There is an elaborate hat that rests on the table beside him. Given his costume, this boy likely served on the Mardi Gras court, as an attendant to the queen. The image was taken by Edward Jacobs of New Orleans and contains his studio imprint “E. Jacobs, N.O.” on the mat.
The image is housed in a Rinhart #260 (Roses and Bluebells) leather case. This case was introduced in about 1853. The mat is a modified nonpareil that was primarily used from 1843-1849 but had use in the early to mid 1850’s as well. The mat contains a sandy texture with an inside bevel. The image contains a preserver (Nolan s_horseshoes) that was in common use from 1850-1856. Given these characteristics it is likely that the image was made between 1853-1856.
The image was previously part of the Eugene R. Groves Collection of 19th Century Photography.
Edward Jacobs (1813-1892) was born in England and was an active artist and photographer in New Orleans from 1844-1864. He initially established a daguerrian gallery at 1 Camp Street in 1844 and was in partnership with Charles E. Johnson for a period of time. In the fall of 1846 Edward White took over the gallery and it is likely that Jacobs continued to work from the gallery. It is reported that he was one of several New Orleans daguerreotypists who took a portrait of General Zachary Taylor in 1847 while he was visiting the city.
In about 1850 Jacobs established his own gallery at 93 Camp Street and embarked on a period of time that would establish him as one of the premier photographers in New Orleans. It was during this time that this image was likely taken.
Cowan’s Auctions. Auction Listing, 2020
Nolan, Sean William. Fixed in Time. 3rd edition, 2017
Palmquist, Peter E. and Thomas R. Kailbourn. Pioneer Photographers from the Mississippi to the Continental Divide: A Biographical Dictionary, 1839-1865.
Rinhart, Floyd and Marion. American Miniature Case Art. 1969