Today’s Mustache Monday comes from the NYPL’s “Mountjoy Prison Portraits of Irish Independence: Photograph Albums in the Thomas A. Larcom Collection.” The two albums in the collection originally belonged to Sir Thomas Aiskew Larcom (1801-1879), the permanent Under Secretary for Ireland from 1853 to 1869.
Identified as felons and Fenian political prisoners, the subjects of these photographs include some of the leaders of the Fenian Brotherhood and its Irish wing, the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Clearly the photographer felt their incarceration to be unjust; in a letter to Mr. Larcom, pasted inside one of the albums, he writes, “You asked me some months ago to get you the photographs of the convicted and untried political prisoners who have been confined in Mountjoy. // I now send you a most unique ‘Book of Beauty’ … The camera is bad, but I am about to get a better, a really good one.”
The Irish in the American Civil War blog also identifies several of these men as veterans. Lots of interesting history in the comments.
Top left in this set is James Burns, Captain, 23rd Illinois Infantry. Born in England, he served in the ranks and reenlisted as a Veteran Volunteer before being wounded at Second Winchester in 1864.