Photograph by
Printed by
Prang, Louis, Prussian, 1824 - 1909
Signed by
Cole, Abraham
Subject of
Johnson, Augustus L., American, born ca. 1846
Murphy, Malinda, American, born ca. 1846
July 9, 1874
ink on paper, collodion and silver on iron with lacquer
H x W: 11 1/4 × 9 1/4 in. (28.6 × 23.5 cm)
This marriage certificate includes tintype portraits of the betrothed, Augustus Johnson and Malinda Murphy. The couple were married on July 9, 1874. The certificate, printed by Louis Prang, has an ornamental design that includes decorative lettering and framing. An illustrated man and a woman sit on the proper right and left sides of the certificate, respectively, and each of them holds a wreath and torch.The proper right side of the certificate contains the tintype of Augustus Johnson and the proper left side contains that of Malinda Murphy. Johnson’s portrait shows him looking off to the side in 2/3 profile view. He has a beard, and he is dressed in a white shirt and dark coat. Murphy’s portrait shows her facing the camera but looking off to the proper left. She wears a dark dress with a white, ruffled collar and a white bow. Her hair is a in a braided coif and she wears dangling earrings and a tasseled necklace. Pre-printed and handwritten ink text on the certificate reads: “Marriage Certificate / Mr. Augustus Johnson and Miss Malinda Murphy / Were this ninth 9th day of July 1874 legally joined by me in / MATRIMONY / In presence of Charles Bannister [and] Joanna Murphy to which I hereby / Certify Abraham Cole.”
The tintypes are secured to the reverse of the paper with masking tape and scotch tape. Adhesive residue is evident around the photographs indicating an older, failed attachment method. Illegible text is written in pencil oriented vertically at the top left, left center edge, and left side below the tintype. Additional pencil in the lower right written vertically reads "9 X 11 1/4". Handwritten ink text in the lower right reads "Dec. 17th 1874 / Sir / Snowing / Winds blowing / Augustus Johnson / Spencerport, NY / Monroe Co".
Place used
Monroe County, New York, United States, North and Central America
Media Arts-Photography
Documents and Published Materials-Business and Legal Documents
marriage certificates
Marriage customs and rites
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Louis Moran and Douglas Van Dine
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
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