"Prof. Charley" Amherst College Cabinet Card, circa 1885

Cabinet card vignetted bust portrait of Charles "Professor Charley" Thompson, of Amherst College. Pach: New York, n.d., circa 1885. Imprint on verso. Thompson wears a bowler hat and gazes off-camera. 

Charles Thompson was born in Portland, Maine, and though little is known about his early life, in around 1838 he went to live with Amherst College President Reverend William A. Stearns and his family in Massachusetts. At some point, Thompson went to work for Captain Charles Thomas Evans, spending years at sea on voyages all throughout the world including on whaling and merchant vessels. After Thompson returned, he got married and went to work at Amherst College as a janitor, a post he maintained for 40 years. 

After a prolonged mental illness took the life of his wife, Thompson was left destitute, having to sell his house and other material belongings. In 1874, the daughter of the late President Stearns published a brief biographical work entitled Prof. Charley: A Sketch of Charles Thompson in order to inform the Amherst community about Thompson's fascinating life and to raise money for him to live on in his last years.


Image with some spotting, mount with light wear to edges and corners. Verso with pencil inscriptions including collection numbers/codes. 

Estimate: $400 - $600
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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