1861: Most Photographed American of the 19th Century

The most photographed American of the 19th century was Frederick Douglass.

Frederick Douglass (c. 1841) Frederick Douglass (c. 1841-45) Frederick Douglass (May 1848) Frederick Douglass - Sixth-plate daguerreotype (c 1850 after c 1847) Samuel J. Miller - Frederick Douglass (1847-52) 2001.756 Ambrotype of Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass - carte de visite (c 1876) C. M. Battey - Portrait of Frederick Douglass (c 1895)

In an 1861 lecture, Douglass said that with the advent of photography,

Men of all conditions may see themselves as others see them. What was once the exclusive luxury of the rich and great is now within reach of all. The humblest servant girl, whose income is but a few shillings per week, may now possess a more perfect likeness of herself than noble ladies and even royalty, with all its precious treasures, could purchase fifty years ago.

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