Cabinet Card of John Brown's Birthplace, Torrington, CT, Featuring African American Subject

Scarce cabinet card of John Brown’s birthplace home in Torrington, CT, late 1860s or early 1870s. The image shows the two-story saltbox house with a pitched roof sloping in the back, down to just one story. A stone dry stack wall borders the front of the property and a fledgling tree grows on the right. A young African American boy wearing a brimmed hat sits upon the wall with his feet resting on one of the large stones. A ca 1890 image of the same home in the collections of the Connecticut Historical Society shows the same tree with several decades of growth, placing this image in the late 1860s or early 1870s, consistent with other indicators. Verso inscribed in two hands, “John Brown’s Birth Place / Torrington, CT.”

Built in 1785, John Brown’s father, Owen Brown, moved to the home in 1799. John was born a year later on May 9, 1800. He spent his early childhood there before moving with his family to Hudson, OH when he was five years old. While he spent his formative and adult years in Ohio, he would return to Connecticut at 16, attending the Morris Academy for about a year in nearby Litchfield, CT.


Some brown stains to image, mount toned with worn edges.

Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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