Committee On Elections, 1856, Salted Paper Photo
Committee on Elections, 34th Congress, 1856, Fine Pre-Civil War Salted Paper Photograph
Salted paper photograph, 10 x 13.5 in., on cream colored mount, 12.25 x 16.25 in., framed and glazed, 22 x 28 in. Applied paper label on mount below identifies the group portrait of politicians as the Committee on Elections, 34th Congress, with each member of the committee identified in ink on mount, from left to right: [John] Hickman, PA.; [Schuyler] Colfax, IND.; [William] Smith, ALA.; [Cooper] Watson, O.; [Israel] Washburn, ME.; [Mordecai] Oliver, MO.; [John] Bingham, O.; [Francis] Spinner, NY; [Alexander] Stephens, GA.
The Committee on Elections was established in 1789 as the first standing committee of the House to judge the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members. The committee pictured here was established to monitor the 1856 Presidential Election, in which James Buchanan, John Fremont, and Millard Filmore were candidates.
At the time of the photograph, each man had his own accomplishments, but most went on to make great contributions to the United States and the Confederacy. Alexander Stephens became Vice President of the Confederacy; Schuyler Colfax became Vice President of the United States; John Bingham was named special judge advocate in the trial of the conspirators against the life of President Lincoln; and Francis Spinner was appointed by President Lincoln as Treasurer of the U.S.
Toning to photograph; few spots; upper left portion of image has lightened.