The speculation that Johnson and Schuyler on Aurora Street in Ithaca, New York are daguerreotypist is based on an advertisement for [Charles G.] Bartholomew in the Ithaca Journal and Advertiser dated April 11, 1849, Vol. XXXIII, No. 44, Whole No. 1,651, P. 3. Also cited in the Daguerreian Annual, 1993 and in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry. I believe that they are not daguerreotypist based on the research below.
Don’t Read This. Mr. Bartholomew would respectfully announce to the citizens of Ithaca, that he has taken the room formerly occupied by Johnson & Schuyler, on Aurora St., for taking Daguerreotype Likenesses, Single or in groups up to 12 upon the latest Paris and London improvements, which does away with that blue, dark, inanimate, fading appearance to pictures; like ivory painting, with a Light, Soft, Florid Tone as in nature. He finishes all his miniatures with the Electro Gilding, (and the enameled back ground if desired) which will last for ages without fading; and put them up in the most beautiful and splendid French style, never before introduced in this village….
There has also been speculation that The Johnson in the partnership is possibly Charles E. Johnson. Johnson has been found in a variety of locations in New York including New York City, Binghamton, Saratoga, and he was also in Ithaca. Advertisements have also been found that place him in Louisiana and in Cleveland, Ohio in 1849. Following is the complete advertisement from the Ithaca Journal & General Advertiser, dated April 8, 1846, Vol. XXX, No. 40, Whole No. 1,495, P. 3. The advertisement ran from April 8 to 29, 1846.
Johnson’s Photographic Gallery. Mr. Johnson, late of Plumbe’s Daguerrean Gallery, New York has the honor to announce to the Ladies and Gentlemen of Ithaca that his rooms are now open for the reception of visitors, in the north wing of the Clinton House—entrance one door south of A. Sherrill’s office. Mr. J.’s pictures are universally admired, for their brilliancy, beauty of finish and life-like appearance, and he warrants them imperishable.
As his stay will be short, he respectfully desires his friends to call soon—if for nothing but to examine his pictures, of which he has a large collection.
Persons possessing inferior pictures can have them exchanged at a very moderate charge.
Pictures taken equally well in clear or cloudy weather.
Instructions in the art, with apparatus furnished on reasonable terms.
Rooms open from 8 A. M., to 5 P. M. Ithaca, March 17, 1846.
In the advertisement there is no mention of a partner, and he will only be in town a short while.
Also of note is the statement that he is late of Plumbe’s Gallery, New York, this helps with putting together a time line of his activities.
To further complicate matters advertisements for G. W. Schuyler selling daguerreotype materials have been found on April 25, 1849. George W. Schuyler is a druggist who is selling a variety of materials at 42 Owego Street. On October 20, 1852 J. V. R Schuyler opens daguerrean rooms above 42 Owego Street.
It’s not until a more thorough search of the newspapers uncovers the true partnership. On September 8, 1847 published in the Ithaca Journal and Advertiser, Vol. XXXII, No. 10, Whole No. 1,568, P. 1, the mystery starts to unravel.
M. C. Riggs, Attorney At Law, Office with Johnson & Schuyler, Aurora Street, Ithaca.
On October 13, 1847 in the Ithaca Journal and Advertiser, Vol. XXXII, No. 15, Whole No. 1,573, P. 1.
Law Partnership. The undersigned have formed a co-partnership in the practice of Law.
Office between the Hotel and Thompson House, Aurora Street, No. 27. Upstairs.
Johnson, Schuyler & Riggs. Ben Johnson; Anthony Schuyler; Marcus C. Riggs.
A further advertisements dated April 1, 1848 announce that the partnership has been dissolved by the death of Ben Johnson.