A black-and-white photograph of Elisa Greenwell (a) accompanied by a handwritten paper note with identifying information (b). In the photograph, Greenwell is seated and faces the camera directly, with her right elbow propped on a table and both hands resting in her lap. Her hair is pinned up at the back of her head. She wears a light-colored dress with a large-scale plaid pattern, white lace collar and stock, and a dark-colored shawl draped over her shoulders. Her cheeks and lips are hand-tinted in a pinkish hue and a spot of gilt is placed over a pin worn at her center front neck. The ambrotype is housed in one half of a wooden case with a papier-mâché cover in a floral design and painted black. The glass plate is surrounded by a gold metal frame with an oval-shaped cut out. A metal hook for fastening the case to the missing lid is present on the right side of the case.
The accompanying loose paper note (b) has handwritten text in black ink reading: "Elisa Greenwell resident of Philadelphia / runaway from the residence of / William Edelen of Leondardtown Md / in 1859". The reverse is blank.