PreviousNext
D14-23. THE PARADE MARSHAL! President James Polk raised a call for troops in the spring of 1846 to fight in the Mexican War. Dayton Ohio, with a population of approximately 6,000 inhabitants immediately heeded his request. In the beginning of May, Major General Hiram Bell of Greenville, commanded the first brigade with their headquarters in Dayton. Brigadier General Adam Speice had command of all the forces in Dayton and Montgomery County. Gen. Speice ordered an assembly of his brigade in Dayton on May 18, 1846. They marched out south Main St. and over to the canal landing at what is now the foot of Ludlow St. Gen. Bell was waiting and he spoke to nine regiments providing advice and encouragement. Peter Voorhees was the owner and partner in J & P. Voorhees stage lines. The Dayton Transcript reported on Saturday February 1, 1845 that Voorhees "the great Land Admiral in this region has 120 stages and 500 horses constantly on the road. If all his horses were together they would form a very respectable squadron of cavalry. We would like to know how much Uncle Sam pays him for his services annually." In 1850, the firm had an office in downtown Dayton on Jefferson St. between Fourth and Fifth Sts. Please look past the solitary rider, festooned with a Patriotic sash attached to one shoulder and carrying a tightly rolled up proclamation, above the heads of the crowd at the signage. "J. & P. Voorhees Stage Office" is visible. Unfortunately the other placards and signs aren't as sharp as the prominent man on horseback. While many citizens in the racially mixed crowd remained quite still when this unbelievable documentary quarter plate daguerreotype was taken, there were ghostly images moving to and fro during the exposure. Silas Barnaby began his successful and long-lived career as a daguerreotypist in Dayton, circa 1846, when I believe this very important image was recorded on a brilliant field of holographic silver! In Craig's Daguerreian Registry S. B. Barnaby had a gallery on the south side of 3rd St. between Main and Jefferson in 1856-1857. (I haven't been able to locate an earlier address in the city. He might have been there since his first day in operation). During the initial mustering of men for the war effort, a recruiting office was located at the northeast corner of Third and Jefferson in McCann's store. Curiously enough, Third St. was the divider of north and south running streets while Main was the east and west line of demarcation. In Dayton Ohio, during May and June of 1846, there were several parades of soldiers going off to war. By 1847, regiments were already returning through Dayton after seeing action in Mexico. At this juncture I will remark that since the trees didn't display their leafy canopies, the view was taken late in the spring or possibly autumn after the leaves have fallen. The Voorhees firm was a transportation icon in the area. A highly capable daguerreotypist was working in the city. I know that my research (aided by Casey) might seem like connecting the dots, yet I believe that the event and location is very plausible. Casey carefully restored the monumental effort by re-cleaning the tarnish spotted surface and making most of the scene visible when he found a lovely Walnut veneer Ogee wooden frame with a proper wide opening octagonal mat. The outer dimensions of the frame are 9.5 inches by 10 inches. Please see the second reproduction taken hanging on a wall of dags here in the barn. I really wonder who the equestrian might have been. Obviously he was a gentleman of great importance to have been daguerreotyped as the central character in an event of monumental interest. There was vibrancy and an almost an electrical anticipation amongst the bystanders who rounded the corner sidewalks while they waited for the procession of troops to commence. The vertical abrasions were produced by at least two different mats that previously framed the daguerreotype. There is a faint wipe on the hard packed street, bottom center, and a few latent marks created over time by weeping glass. When I admire the cityscape, there is a majestic sense of pent up emotions waiting to be unleashed. Much of the nation was at a fever-pitch level and according to eyewitness accounts Dayton's populace strongly supported soldiers being transported to Mexico. $18,500

 

 

btn-sale.jpg (3890 bytes) btn-back.jpg (3150 bytes)