CDV of Jean Jacques Desiré, 1862

CDV portrait of Jean Jacques Desiré. Photographer unknown: [Baltimore, Maryland], n.d., ca 1862. Desiré is pictured standing next to a chair with his hand resting on the top rail. Ink inscription on verso: "Jean Jacques Desiré was born Jany. 1st 1779 in Hayti [sic] - he came to the United States when 13 years old, and has been a barber in Baltimore since 1800. He shaved my father the day he was married, and after powdered my grandfather's hair (Henry Schroeder), and arranged his cue - He has been married twice, and has had 19 children, the youngest of whom is now 5 years old - Picture taken July 10th 1862. / H.S.T."

The inscription captures much of what is known about Desiré. When he emigrated to the United States, he was likely aboard one of fifty-three refugee ships that carried white slave owners, slaves, and free people of color to Baltimore in July 1793 as they fled the chaos of the Haitian revolution. Desiré started working as a barber in Baltimore in 1800 and continued in that profession for the rest of his life. 

"H.S.T." likely refers to Henry Schroeder Taylor (1824-1886), a well-connected Baltimore merchant who served as City Collector, President of the Baltimore Fire Insurance Company, Vice President of the Maryland Club, and in other important political capacities including as General of Governor Carroll's staff. 

Lot accompanied by typewritten label identifying Henry Schroeder Taylor as the writer of the verso inscription.


CDV with light moisture spotting to mount and some wear including paper loss to edges of mount. Image quite clear and well toned. Penciled collection/catalogue code to verso along bottom edge.

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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