Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Houston City Marshal

Posted in Media, Memory by Andy Hall on July 10, 2010

Shannon Perich, Associate Curator for the Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History in Washington, is looking to identify this man, photographed at the Barr & Wright studio in Houston, probably in the 1870s. A note scratched into the emulsion on the edge of the plate suggests he ordered a “½ dozen plain” cartes-de-visite. On his vest he wears a badge reading, “City Marshal.” Perich suggests this may be R. Van Patton, who was appointed City Marshal in 1873, but there were others who served in that role during that decade as well. And it may not even be a Houston official — perhaps a lawman from another city who happened to sit for a portrait while visiting the Bayou City. In any case, it’s a great photo.

h/t J. R. Gonzalez, Houston Chronicle.