The unique addition was acquired from an 87-year-old Texas collector, Robin Stanford, who has been gathering civil war-era photos since the 1970s.
“They’re just tremendously significant,” said Bob Zeller, president of the Center for Civil War Photography, adding that “these are not post-war . . . or after Union occupation. These are actual scenes of slavery in America”.
The photos include Lincoln’s Springfield home covered in mourning cloth after his assassination, the first generation of African Americans born into freedom and a Confederate flag flying from a flagpole in Fort Sumter.
There are also images of life before the war, with one of the more noteworthy photos depicting South Carolina slaves worshiping in a plantation church. This may be the only prewar photo of its kind, according to the Washington Post.