J.A. Foster: Adrian, Michigan, n.d., ca 1868. CDV portrait of a standing African American man in a dark suit, possibly a graduate of the University of Michigan. He wears a mortarboard and carries what appears to be a pipe and a walking stick. Pipe smoking was a common graduation tradition at a number of American universities, as was carrying a walking stick. "Palmam habeat, qui meruit" printed below image, with two-cent revenue stamp on verso and studio imprint of J.A. Foster, Adrian, Michigan.
Beginning in 1862, seniors at the University of Michigan selected graduation mottoes unique to their classes. "Palmam habeat qui meruit" ("Let whoever earns the palm, have it") was the motto for the class of 1868. Cane carrying also grew wildly popular at the University during this time, with a student journalist writing in part, "The cane fever is upon us. The movement originated with the senior class, who, with the laudable desire of carrying away some token of their college days to show to their admiring friends and descendants, produced a fine lot of good sized hickory canes" (1876).
Toning with areas of soiling and staining.
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