[Four Annotated Photographs of African Americans and Others Working on the Levees of the Mississippi River Between Memphis and Vicksburg]. African Americana, Mississippi River.
[Four Annotated Photographs of African Americans and Others Working on the Levees of the Mississippi River Between Memphis and Vicksburg]
[Four Annotated Photographs of African Americans and Others Working on the Levees of the Mississippi River Between Memphis and Vicksburg]
[Four Annotated Photographs of African Americans and Others Working on the Levees of the Mississippi River Between Memphis and Vicksburg]

[Four Annotated Photographs of African Americans and Others Working on the Levees of the Mississippi River Between Memphis and Vicksburg]

Clinton, Il. and Fulton, Ky. L.W. Evans and F.A. Cole, [ca. 1900]. Four large albumen photographs on slightly larger thick card mounts, each printed with a studio blindstamp, each with old pencil caption on verso. One photograph measures 7 x 12.25 inches, the remaining three measure 7.75 x 9.75 inches. Moderate foxing to photographs, minor chipping and scuffing to mounts, some pinholes to mounts. Very good. Item #2419

A collection of four photographs featuring a largely African-American crew performing excavation and repair work on the Mississippi River somewhere below Memphis and above Vicksburg around the turn of the 20th century. The details of each of the four photographs are as follows:

1) "Levee camp on Mississippi River between Memphis & Vicksburg" [manuscript caption in pencil on verso]. On card mount blindstamped, "L.W. Evans Clinton Illinois," and measuring 7 x 12.25 inches. A wide shot picturing a row of tents, each with a stove pipe protruding, featuring about twenty-five African-American and White laborers, a few African-American women, and White bosses dressed in finer clothing.

2) "Levee workers on Mississippi River below Memphis" [manuscript caption in pencil on verso]. On card mount blindstamped, "F.A. Cole Grand Studio Fulton, Ky.," and measuring 7.75 x 9.75 inches. The image features almost exclusively African American laborers standing on railroad tracks and resting on the levee while working to repair a large break in the levee, with construction materials on small rail containers, several already emptied of patching material.

3) "Levee work on Mississippi River below Memphis" [manuscript caption in pencil on verso]. On card mount blindstamped, "F.A. Cole Grand Studio Fulton, Ky.," and measuring 7.75 x 9.75 inches. Picturing one African-American worker with a shovel and four white workers around a large steam shovel on a light rail track in the midst of excavating along the levee.

4) "Levee work on Mississippi River below Memphis" [manuscript caption in pencil on verso]. On card mount blindstamped, "F.A. Cole Grand Studio Fulton, Ky.," and measuring 7.75 x 9.75 inches. A wider view of the same setting as the previous photograph, featuring the same African American man and now about a dozen White workers excavating the levee. The men pose amidst the same large steam shovel as above, and two smaller engines, named "Pattie Rogers" and "Nellie Hugh." One pulls two carts loaded with fill (both carts lettered "Halliburton" on the side) on a light rail track. A conventional railroad track is visible in the foreground.

An intriguing quartet of photographs constituting an important visual record of integrated work on the Mississippi River levees during the Jim Crow years.

Price: $1,250.00