150-Year Old Photo Found of Enslaved Children

An estate sale in North Carolina turned up some real treasure for New York collector, Keya Morgan.  The estate sell had not only turned up a family photo album containing a picture that may be well over 150 years old.  One of the photos in the album are a picture of two African American boys who were enslaved.  One of the boys are identified as John. 

In April, Morgan also found papers detailing the sale of John in 1854 for $1,150, according to the Associated Press.  According to photographic historian Will Stapp, who is also the founding curator of the National Portrait Gallery’s photographs department at the Smithsonian Institution said:

“It’s a very difficult and poignant piece of American history,” he said. “What you are looking at when you look at this photo are two boys who were victims of that history.”

Morgan paid $30,000 for the photo of the young boys (the photo album the photo was in) along with several family pictures and $20,000 for the document depicting the sale of John.  The estate sale took place at what was believed to be a deceased relative of John.  MOMA has already reached out to Morgan to try and get the items, but he plans to keep them in his private collection for now.

Read more of the startling news of the photo and see a photo slideshow of the accompanying finds here.

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