June 13, 2019 12:00 PM EDT Cincinnati
Ends June 24, 2019


20

Union Spy Pauline Cushman, Civil War CDV

CDV of Miss Major Pauline Cushman in her Union "uniform"; published by Anthony, from negative by Bogardus.

Pauline Cushman (1833-1897) was an aspiring actress when she was asked to toast CSA Pres. Jefferson Davis after a performance, which resulted in her being fired from her roles in her Northern theater but was actually a plan to ingratiate herself with the enemy as a Union spy. Caught with incriminating information about Bragg's battle plans, Cushman was sentenced to be executed as a spy and saved only by the timely arrival of Federal troops at her prison in Shelbyville, Tennessee.  Gen. James A. Garfield and Pres. Lincoln awarded her with an honorary major's commission and she engaged in cloak and dagger work until growing notoriety blew her cover. With the benefit of a populist biography "Miss Major Cushman" toured the country speaking about her wartime exploits and profiting from the sale of cartes de visites. Further success as an actress, however, eluded Cushman. She married several times and moved west but her later years were marked by physical decline and tragedy. Sixty-year old Pauline Cushman died in San Francisco in 1893 of a morphine overdose said to have been a suicide.

Condition:

Toning to print and mount. Some scattered spotting. Few small circular blindstamps in lower right and left corners of print. 

Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$500
06/13/2019

 

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