Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Charles Law Photograph or Not?

For decades a blurry, poor quality photograph has been circulated in the Law family purporting to be a representation of Charles Law (1832-1862). For decades I accepted it as actually being Charles Law. Then about 10 years ago doubts concerning this identification began to fester when a colleague pointed out that the hairline, broadened nose, and general appearance was not that of a man who died at age 29, but rather that of someone upwards of 50 years of age. Here is the photo with which many of Charles' descendants are familiar:

click to enlarge

I now believe that this photograph is of Simon Price (1808-1890), Isaac Brough Law's father-in-law.

The photograph below depicts Susan Juchau (Price) Law and her daughter, Cora (Law) Wilhelmsen. Also in the photograph are portraits of Isaac Brough Law (Susan's husband), Mary Lousia Stanners Price (Susan's grandmother), and Simon Price (Susan's grandfather).

click to enlarge

Cropping the Simon Price portrait from the larger photograph above and enlarging and straightening it resulted in the following photo:

click to enlarge

Finally, I took this photo and cropped it down to the head, straightened it and removed the slight tint resulting in the following portrait:

Placing this photo side-by-side with the photo of Charles Law it becomes apparent that it is the same photograph:

My conclusion is that we have no photograph of Charles Law (1832-1862). If we could locate the portrait depicted in the photograph of Susan (Price) Law and Cora (Law) Wilhelmsen we could undoubtedly obtain a much better copy of this photo of Simon Price.