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Unidentified Photographer

[Unidentified Man and Woman]

Date ca. 1911
Location Saint Helena Island South Carolina United States
Dimensions Image: 4 13/16 x 3 7/16 in. (12.3 x 8.8 cm)
Mount: 5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in. (13.8 x 8.8 cm)
Print medium Print-Lithograph

The Southern views created by photographers at the turn of the twentieth century often served one of two purposes: to show exotic locations to Northerners or to raise money for philanthropic projects in the South. One such project was the Penn School on Saint Helena Island, South Carolina. It was founded in 1862 by abolitionist missionaries Laura Towne and Ellen Murray as part of the Port Royal Experiment, the first large-scale government effort to assist freedmen and women. When the Sea Islands fell to Union forces in 1861, all of the white residents fled, leaving behind some 10,000 slaves. Towne and Murray taught the freed Sea Island people, the Gullah, who were descendants of the first slaves in the United States.
Penn adopted the Tuskegee vocational curriculum of Booker T. Washington in 1900, coincident with the arrival of Miss Rossa B. Cooley as principal. This postcard serves as an announcement for a lecture by Cooley on "The Regeneration of the Colored Population in the Rural South," to be delivered at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston. The Sunday evening public meetings at the Forum, begun in 1908, became an institutional base for Progressive era reformers.

Credit line

Gift of Daniel Cowin, 1990

Feedback Accession No. 921.1990