From John Hennessy:
Our friend Doug Harvey, the director of the Museum System in Lynchburg, passed along today a “new” image of Robert E. Lee from their collection, and we publish it here for the first time in the US (we think). As far as the folks down there (and at the VHS and the Lee Chapel) can tell, this CDV has only been seen publicly once–on a website from Peru without provenance (there must be a story in that, but it’s beyond our reach).
The image dates, apparently, to a postwar visit made by Lee to Lynchburg for an Episcopal Conference (Lee was in Fredericksburg for the same conference in 1869)–it has a Lynchburg backmark. But little else is known. We have some pretty knowledgeable readers out there, and so Doug asked me to put it out for comment and feedback, which we are happy to do.
Anyone have thoughts, ideas, or knowledge that might help?
Update, June 14: See the comments section below for some thoughtful information. John Cummings’s comment seems to summarize well:
This photograph, in vignette form, is from an almost imperceptible variant of an otherwise well known and widely published image of Lee and appears to have been copied by the Lynchburg photographer, possibly to cash in on Lee’s attendance at the Episcopal Conference in 1869.
John offers this side-by-side comparison:
Another of our long-time readers shares this: