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Elisha James Cleveland (1821-1866)
1860-1870
W. R. Hawkes
USA: Massachusetts, East Boston
Carte-de-visite
card: 4-3/16"h x 2-3/8"w
Gift of Virginia B. Squair
2021.008.2

Carte-de-visite of E. J. Cleveland. Obverse: Sepia-toned photograph of bust of man with dark hair, mustache, and beard; he wears a white shirt with a square and compasses-shaped jewel on its breast, and a dark suit. Reverse: Signature in black ink at top: "Elisha James Cleveland," with central text stamped in black ink: "W. R. HAWKES, / [decorative flourish] / PHOTOGRAPHIST / Erskin's Block, / [decorative flourish] / EAST BOSTON."; surrounding this, and arranged in a circular design, "The plate from which this picture is taken will be preserved," / "[asterisk] and copies can be had at any time [asterisk]." Paper has light pink tone, with white areas surrounding text and at edges.


After he received a Past Master's jewel recognizing his service to Hammett Lodge, in East Boston, Massachusetts, Elisha James Cleveland (1821-1866) visited a photographer’s studio a few blocks from his home. There he had his portrait taken by self-described “photographist,” William R. Hawkes. In dressing for his appointment at the studio, Cleveland wore his street clothes—a jacket, vest, neckcloth, and shirt—with the Past Master’s jewel he received in 1860 pinned at the center. This photograph, in a small carte-de-visite format, is an intriguing document of how Cleveland used the jewel and suggests the pride he may have felt in wearing it.



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