Monday, July 9, 2012

Black Victoriana

I was curious about the subject of black people during the Victorian era.  The Victorian era was from 1837 to 1901.  A Google search revealed some of the most beautiful photographs of people of African descent during the Victorian period.  I am thrilled that these photographs were taken for posterity.  It is nice to see people of color so well dressed and put together for those times.  These photographs are very important because they document an aspect of black history that is generally never spoken of.  

 This is a photo of Lady Sarah Bonita Forbes Davies.  Sara was born in West Africa and subsequently captured during the slave trade.  Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy gave her the name Sara Forbes.  Sara was taken to England and given to Queen Victoria.  The Queen immediate noticed that Sara was exceptionally intelligent and so she took Sara under her wing.  Queen Victoria raised Sara as her goddaughter within the British middle class.

      When Sara was 20 Queen Victoria sanctioned her marriage to Captain James Davies in August of 1862.  Captain Davies was a Yuroba businessman.   Sara amd James had a daughter who whom they christened Victoria and she became the goddaughter of Queen Victoria.

When Sara was brought to England as a young girl she developed a cough caused by the climate change.  Sara was never able to rid herself of this cough and passed away at age 37 of tuberculosis.  

Portraits of black Victorian ladies.

 Helen Louise Johnson and Agnes Marion Edwards taken in 1870.

Identified as  Lottie Campbell

Unfortunately, I have not been as successful locating photographs of black Victorian males.  I came across only a few.

I will be searching for this book for purchase.

I hope that you enjoyed these precious photographs. 


Anonymous said...

These images are absolutely stunning!!!

collarcitybrownstone said...


They are stunning aren't they. I was thrilled to find so many of these photos online.

Jonia's cut said...

WOW!!!! There are amazing, beautiful photos!

collarcitybrownstone said...

I am glad you like the photos Jonia. I am actually kind of mesmerized by them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jennifer Morris said...

I love the photos. I wish we knew more about the individuals in the photos, where they lived, what they did, family info, etc. I always wondered about blacks in the victorian age. Thank you for this.

collarcitybrownstone said...

Hi Jennifer,

You are very welcomed. I am so glad that you stopped by. I would love to learn more about black people during the Victorian era. I love that these photos depict something other than blacks being poor and down trodden all the time.

Maria Roman said...

I loved these pictures there just wonderful, i was also wondering about the kind of food they eat and honest i would like to learn more, a little of everything....Thank so much these pictures are just great...