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Elders

The people in these images were each enslaved from birth and then freed after the Civil War. The photos were taken by Essie Collins Matthews. They were published as part of a book that argues slavery was not bad. Collins used images of formerly enslaved people who continued to live with their enslavers after the Civil War to argue that they were loyal to their enslavers.
The book was written in 1915, 50 years after the Civil War. Many people like Collins believed that black and Indigenous people should be enslaved long after enslavement ended.
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