New York: R. H. Russell, 1900. First Edition. Quarter-Cloth. First State (RHR monogram on front cover, the R's having short tails) of this photo documentary, several decades after Reconstruction, of African Americans still on plantations in the old South. Royal 8vo (361 x 232mm): pp, with 46 illustrations (many full-page) from photographs. Original cloth-backed light brown boards lettered in dark brown, photograph (replicating frontispiece) inset on front cover. An excellent example of a scarce early photobook, tightly bound and clean throughout. BAL 7146. Johnson, p. 214. Near Fine+. Item #BB1986
Harris, introducing these photographs, noted that "it is in the old slave States, on the cotton, tobacco and rice plantations, that the most startling contrasts and contradictions whirled and swarmed, dancing as it were, a perpetual morris-dance, while the rest of the world looked on with wonder or interest, with admiration or indignation." Eickemeyer was a leader in the Pictorialist Movement that dominated American photography around 1900. According to Umbra Search African American History (the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries' Archives and Special Collections), "Eickemeyer took the photographs while visiting friends in Mt. Meigs, Alabama. The location is not revealed in the publication, and the captions are generic or give pseudonyms. These pages, however, have been annotated by Mrs. Elliotte G. Taber, 'Whose early life was spent among these scenes.' She received a personal copy of the book from Eickemeyer in 1906." Photo titles include: Returning from the Fields, Pounding Rice, The Thanksgiving Turkey, Wash Day on the Plantation, and Stripping the Cane. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).