Tag Archives: Powers & Duke

P. Henry Duke

1855-1856       139 Main Street, Over Woodhouse’s Bookstore, Richmond, Virginia.

1859                188 Main Street, Richmond, Virginia,

P. Henry Duke (in the partnership of Powers & Duke 1855-1856) was recorded in twenty six advertisements, and one announcement in The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia)  and one article in the Photographic and Fine Arts Journal.  The first advertisement ran from January 8 to 11, 1855.  Co-Partnership.—The undersigned have this day formed a Co partnership under the firm of Powers & Duke, for the purpose of carrying on the Daguerrean Business, and solicits a continuance of the patronage hitherto extended to their Senior Partner.

E. M. Powers, P. Henry Duke, 139 Main Street, over Woodhouse’s Bookstore.  ja. 8.

2d advertisement ran from January 19 to February 1, 1855.  How Life-Like, Beautiful And Cheap!—Such is almost the universal cry of those who have visited our Gallery and obtained for themselves a beautiful flesh-tint Daguerreotype, taken only by Powers & Duke, 139 Main st.  We particularly invite our friends, both city and country, to give us a call, as we are prepared to give all in want a beautiful flesh-tint Daguerreotype for only 50 Cents.

Come, friends and the public, one and all—

If a picture you wish which is nice—

Over Woodhouse’s store just give us a call;

You cannot object to the price.

Powers & Duke, Sign of the Red Flag. 

3d advertisement ran from February 2 to 8, 1855.  The Only gallery where you can get a Daguerreotype for 50 cents; and of the many hundreds sent out within the last two months, not a single one but what have given ample satisfaction in every respect.

We return our thanks to our friends and the public, and respectfully invite one and all to call and examine specimens, whether they set for a Picture or not.

Remember this is the only place to get a Daguerreotype for fifty cents.  Powers & Duke, 139 Main st., Sign of the Red Flag. 

4th advertisement ran from February 9 to March 6, 1855.  Fifty Cent Daguerreotypes are all the rage in our city, and Powers & Duke are the only men that can give you a superb likeness for Fifty Cents.  This is no humbug.  Their flesh tint Daguerreotypes are the best we have ever seen, and their pictures are warranted to please or no sale.  We have seen hundreds of their 50 cent Likenesses, and we pronounce them inferior to none, and far superior to many taken at other Galleries at a cost of Two Dollars.  For a good and cheap Picture call at Powers & Duke, 139 Main st., Over Woodhouse’s Bookstore, Eagle Square.

5th advertisement ran from March 6 to 19, 1855.  A Perfect Rush For Powers & Duke’s 50 cent Daguerreotypes, which, like the Penny Post and Dispatch, are too well known to need puffing.  We think it only necessary to remind the public of being still at the old stand, 139 Main street, where we are daily taking a great many of those beautiful 50 cent Daguerreotypes, which have been so much admired by every one who has seen them, and have been pronounced by judges to be superior to any taken at other galleries in this city for two dollars each.  While the weather is favorable to the art, we would respectfully invite one and all to give us a call before visiting elsewhere—Don’t forget the name and number.

Powers & Duke, 139 Main street, sign of the red flag, Over Woodhouse’s Bookstore.  mh. 6.

6th advertisement ran from March 23 to 27, 1855.  Powers & Duke Take Daguerreotypes For 50 Cents Each.—Call today and get one.  Stereoscope Pictures taken at $4, and warranted satisfactory.

Powers & Duke, 139 Main street, sign of the red flag, Over Woodhouse’s Bookstore.  mh. 23.

7th advertisement ran from March 28 to April 17, 1855.  50 Cent Daguerreotypes Are All The Go, to be had only at Powers & Duke’s large Sky Light Gallery, 139 Main street.

Our Daguerreotypes are warranted not to fade or change color, and those who wish something really good will do well to give us a call, over Woodhouse’s Bookstore—sign of the Red Flag. Powers & Duke. 

8th advertisement ran from April 19 to May 1, 1855.  Powers & Duke are still supplying their numerous friends and thousands of customers with beautiful and life-like Daguerreotypes, for 50 cents each.  They do not wish to humbug the public by saying that high priced pictures are the best; but this they do say, that their 50 cent likenesses are superior to many taken in this city at two dollars each.  All who want a picture worth carrying home, are respectfully invited to call at No. 139 Main street, over Woodhouse’s Bookstore, Eagle Square. 

9th advertisement ran from May 1 to 5, 1855.  5000 Daguerreotypes, taken by Powers & Duke, Since the first of January last.  This is enough to satisfy the curious that they are the men to call on for your Daguerreotypes.

Call to-day and get one of their never fading 50 Cent Daguerreotypes.  139 Main street, over Woodhouse’s Bookstore, Sign of the Red Flag. 

10th advertisement ran from May 8 to June 21, 1855.  From 50 Cents to $25—Lovers of Good Pictures are respectfully informed that Powers & Duke are the only artists in this city that offer good Daguerreotypes, from 50 cts. to $25, which is an inducement to every one in want of a good and beautiful Daguerreotype.  To be had only of Powers & Duke, 139 Main st., Over Woodhouse’s Bookstore, Eagle Square.  my. 8.

11th advertisement ran from June 23 to July 14.  Our Thanks are due to the people of Richmond, and especially to the “Young Guard,” for the liberal patronage bestowed upon us for the past year, for which we are very thankful, and hope to merit a continuance of the same, promising to use every means, without regard to expense, necessary to produce the finest Daguerreotypes ever offered to the public.

Our prices range from 50 cents to $30.  Stereoscopes taken for $5.              All Pictures warranted. Powers & Duke, 139, Main street, over Northern Telegraph Office.                           

12th advertisement ran from July 16 to August 15, 1855.  What The Virginia Gazette Says—If you want an exact image of your face and features, which you can hand down to your latest posterity, drop in to see Messrs. Powers & Duke.  Their Daguerreotypes never fade, and beside are as true as nature itself.  You can see the very fine sparkling in the eye.  We have tried the artistic skill of these gentlemen, and therefore speak from experience.

Those who have beauty, should to this firm take it; Those who have none should go to them to make it.  [Virginia Gazette. 

13th advertisement ran from August 14 to 18, 1855.  Daguerreotypes.—Call at Powers & Duke’s splendid Daguerrean Gallery and secure for yourself a beautiful Picture.

Here art triumphant our attention claims;

Here life seems speaking from a hundred frames;

Belles, merchants, statesmen throng the pictured walls—

Each face, each form its living type recall.—

Features, complexion, attitude, attire;

Beauty’s soft smile and manhood’s glance of fire,

Truly reflected from the burnished plate,

Astonish life with its own duplicate.

Think not these portraits by the sunlight made.

Shades though they are, will like a shadow fade—

No!  When the life of flesh in dust shall lie—

When Death’s grey film o’erspread the beaming eye—

These life-like pictures, mocking at decay,

Will still be fresh and vivid as to-day!

Gallery 139 Main street, Eagle Square, over Woodhouse’s Bookstore. 

1st announcement appeared on August 15, 1855.  Let the world say what it will, Watson’s Richmond’s Laureate still.

Poetry by the Protype Bard and Port Laureate of the city of Richmond.  Spoken extemporaneously in the presence of witnesses, after having his Likeness taken by Powers & Duke, whose Likeness has been seen (in his gold medal) by the President of the United States and the Mayor of Baltimore; also by Commodores Perry and Aulick, U. S. N., and supposed to be true and correct likeness of that great and immortal genius:

All that want their likeness took,

Step in with faith to Powers & Duke;

‘Tis true, the Artist and the Tailor

May embellish Nature’s failure;—

None can equal these two men,

That’s took me once and once again;

I am took fair in every feature,

As I was formed by mother Nature.

Lord knows I never was a beauty,

But if, my friends, this likeness suit ye,

I faithful told each Daguerrean

To let the Phototype be seen;

Though I am Richmond’s Poet laureate,

Not one cent they charged me for it.

As I must speak my mind sincere,

All who want their likeness here—

All who Tom Watson’s face do know,

Powers & Duke the same will show,—

Honest, fair, by Nature took.

Just step in to Powers & Duke.

Thomas Watson.

Prototype Bard of Virginia and Poet laureate of the city of Richmond, the only living successor of Byron, Burns, Milton, Moore and the immortal Wm. Shakspeare.   

14th advertisement ran from August 22 to September 12, 1855.  Powers & Duke’s Daguerreotypes, which has created such a sensation with the public, are still to be had at 139, Main street.

We have several late improvements in the art, to which we invite particular attention.  Boston Quick for sale by Powers & Duke. 

2nd announcement appeared on September 11, 1855.  Aid For The Sufferers.—We have to acknowledge from Messrs. Powers & Duke $22 for the benefit of the afflicted of Norfolk and Portsmouth.  This sum was received at their Daguerrean Gallery, yesterday.  With a commendable benevolence, they sat apart their receipts for the day to this humane object.  Their generous contribution shall have the proper destination.

15th advertisement ran from September15 to October 11, 1855.  Daguerreotypes.—We have seen some of Powers & Duck’s new style of Daguerreotypes, and pronounce them superior to any we ever saw, and is a decided improvement on the old style of Daguerreotype.  Call and see them. 

16th advertisement ran from October 1 to 5, 1855.  Daguerreotypes.—Powers & Duke, Eagle Square.

Daguerreotypes must be perfection,

Since pictured by the sun’s direction,

Heaven’s own bright rays shed from above,

To enshrine the forms of those we love.  oc. 1.

17th advertisement ran from October 16 to 20, 1855.  Daguerreotypes.—Powers & Duke are offering great inducements to persons in want of good and desirable Daguerreotypes.  All of our Pictures are warranted to please or no sale.  

18th advertisement ran from October 26 to November 2, 1856.  Daguerreotypes.—It is well known that we seldom or never award praise to those to whom it is not due; therefore those who may chance to read this will know that we speak true when we say that Powers & Duke’s Flesh-Tint Daguerreotypes are unsurpassed by any one, and we advise our friends, if they want the worth of their money, and a likeness that will not fade, to call on them, over Woodhouse & Co.’s Bookstore, Main st.

19th advertisement ran from November 20 to December 3, 1855.  50 Cent Daguerreotypes.—By the solicitation of many of our friends, we commence this day to take good and durable Daguerreotypes for 50 cents.   Respectfully, Powers & Duke. 

20th advertisement ran from November 24 to December 1, 1855.  Ain’t we glad that Powers & Duke have returned again to taking Daguerreotypes for 50 cents.  Oh! They are such dear little things.  no. 24.

21st advertisement ran from December 12, 1855 to January 16, 1856.  50 Cent Daguerreotypes.—Powers & Duke are still furnishing their customers with their never-failing Daguerreotypes for 50 cts. each.  They do not pretend to humbug the people with Ambrotypes or Glass Pictures, hermotically sealed between two glasses; but they are still taking their world-renowned Flesh Tint Daguerreotypes, which are to well known to the people of Virginia, and which have received the highest praise, both for their cheapness and durability. 

The article appeared in the Photographic and fine Arts Journal (New York, New York) on June 1, 1856, P. 217.  In an article entitled the Photographic Galleries of America.  Number Three, Richmond. The author visited 7 Galleries in Richmond.

Duke. — The specimens of this establishment, are complete caricatures on the art. Big heads on small plates, young ladies with bouquets in their hands, old ladies with either an orange or a red book clutched firmly between their fingers. Then imagine here and there a dab of red or yellow paint, marking out a watch or chain or some other jewelry, and you will have a good idea of these pictures, furnished all complete, gotten up and colored after the manner I have described, for the very low and degrading price of 50 cents. This establishment has not yet meddled with glass pictures; and for the sake of the art, for which I have always had a reverence, I hope it never will.

22d advertisement ran from January 10 to 16, 1856.  A Card.—The Firm of Powers & Duck is this day dissolved by mutual consent.  Those indebted to the firm will come forward and settle with E. M. Powers.  The creditors of the said firm will present their claims to said E. M. Powers for settlement.  E. M. Powers.  P. Henry Duke.  Richmond, January 3, 1856.

I have this day purchased of Mr. P. Henry Duke his entire interest in the Daguerrean Gallery known under the above firm and shall continue to carry on the business, hoping to merit a continuance of the patronage so liberally extended to the firm. E. M. Powers.  Richmond, January 8, 1856.

23d advertisement ran on July 20 & 21, 1859.  If you want a beautiful Likeness, go to Duke’s Gallery, corner above the Post-Office, at Osborne’s old stand.  Having lately engaged the services of one of the most talented artist in the United States, I am making nothing but the very best pictures, at prices from 25 cents to $25.

P. Henry Duke, Artist.             

24th advertisement ran on August 16 & 17, 1859.  Duke’s Gallery—Duke’s Gallery—Corner above Post-Office.  Corner above Post-Office.   Only Twenty-Five Cents, Fifty Cents, One Dollar and Up, For the best Pictures in the world.  Call and be convinced of the fact. 

25th advertisement appeared on August 30, 1859.  At Duke’s Gallery, Cor. Above the P. O.  Gallery, Cor. Above the P. O.  Gallery, Cor. Above the P. O.  Gallery, Cor. Above the P. O.  Gallery, Cor. Above the P. O.

$2 Ambrotypes $2 Ambrotypes $2 Ambrotypes $2 Ambrotypes $2 Ambrotypes.  Taken for 50 cents.  Taken for 50 cents.  Taken for 50 cents.  Taken for 50 cents.  Taken for 50 cents.  In a large size case, In a large size case, In a large size case, In a large size case, In a large size case,

And warranted in every respect.  And warranted in every respect.  And warranted in every respect.  And warranted in every respect.  And warranted in every respect.  Equal to those at other Galleries for $2.  Equal to those at other Galleries for $2.  

26th advertisement ran on December 29 & 30, 1859.  Duke’s Southern Photographic Temple Of Art, 188 Main st., cor. Above the Post-Office.

Plain Photographs executed for $1 only; Duplicates $9 per doz.  Ivorytypes $10 and up.  Photographs in Indian Ink, pastel, Water Colors, and Oil, from miniatures to life size, on the most reasonable terms.

Mr. Wm. S. Shaw, late of London, who had the honor of being selected by the Protestant Episcopal Missionary Board to photograph the Bishops, Clerical and Lay Delegates of the Episcopal Church of America that met here in convention in October, Is now engaged at the Southern Photographic Temple of Art, and the public may rest assured they will be supplied with first class work in all branches of the art, equal to that of any other establishment in the Union—as Mr. Shaw is well known , and acknowledged one of the first photographers of this country.

P. Henry Duke is not recorded in other photographic directories, nor is the partnership of Powers & Duke. William S. Shaw is not recorded as being active in 1859 in Richmond, Virginia. 

Montgomery Pike Simons

 The following is a brief history of the activities of Montgomery Pike Simons (ca. 1817-1877) during his sojourn in Richmond, Virginia as reported in articles and advertisements published in The Richmond Daily Dispatch.   During his stay from 1852 to1856 he was a prolific advertiser, the duration of most advertisements ran for a week or two, but sometimes only a day or two and only occasionally for a month or longer.  Throughout his stay in Richmond, Simons’ studio address stayed the same 151 Main Street, in Eagle Square.

In reviewing his advertisements family groups, and children were a specialty, and a re-occurring theme. Also whenever a convention was in town, be it a Medical Convention, Temperance Convention or Clubs. Simons would be among the first to invite the attendees to pay a visit to his Gallery and examine his specimens.  Like other daguerreotypist of the day the commonality in advertising are very formulaic and the majority sound alike.  As an example the following is an invitation to the Virginia State Legislators that appeared in the Dispatch on February 6, 1852.

Virginia Legislature.—Members of the Virginia Legislature now in session, are     particularly invited to call at M. P. Simons’ Gallery, and examine his exquisite likenesses of the President and his Cabinet, also Senators and Members of the House, together with a large sample of other distinguished and well known persons of this and other countries, too numerous to mention. All are desired to call, whether in want of pictures or not; and those wanting pictures would do well to judge for themselves of their superiority.  All pictures warranted to give full satisfaction.

Some of the prominent and distinguished individual daguerreotype portraits identified by name that Simons advertises in the Dispatch that were on exhibit in his gallery include Jenny Lind (1820-1887), opera singer; Lola Montes (1821-1861), actress and dancer; George Payne Rainsford James (1799-1860), English novelist, historical writer, and British Counsel; Henry Clay (1777-1852), lawyer, politician and Senator from Kentucky; Hon. K. Rayner, possibly Kenneth Rayner (1808-1884), congressman & legislator from North Carolina; General Lopez (full name unknown)[i]. Dr. Gibson; Rev. Mr. Read and William F. Titchis are possibly local individuals.  A view of St. John’s [Episcopal] Church in Richmond which was built in 1741 and is today the oldest standing church in Richmond. Tantalizingly a Tarantula spider that was found under his back gallery.  In addition there were for sale engraved likenesses Rev. Mr. T. V. Moore, pastor of the first Presbyterian Church in Richmond, by A. S. Walker of Philadelphia, after a daguerreotype by Simons.  In an advertisement dated March 30, 1855, Simons is appealing for a sufficient number of subscribers to off-set the expenses for engraved likenesses of the pastors of the different churches in the city.  Moore’s engraving may have been part of this project.

On at least three occasions Simons is extremely aggressive, antagonistic and sarcastic with fellow daguerreotypist. The first is with Frank E. Moulson who is charging $1 for his daguerreotypes.  The fight in the newspapers starts with the following notice which ran on August 13, 1852 in the Daily Dispatch:

A Chapter on the Daguerrean Art, and its Professors.—The Dollar Notoriety.—It has been suggested that these disciples of Daguerre attach the names of sitters to their productions, that they may be the more easily recognized by their friends. But as this is a matter we are not interested in, we leave it for those that are—their patrons. But would, ourselves, suggest the propriety and fairness of the operator’s name being attached, for two reasons—first, that the public may know where caricatures may be had; and, second, that they may avoid them when they wish a Daguerreotype.

Another thought occurs to us: it is well known that the State finds it necessary for the better protection of its citizens, to have officers, whose duty it is to inspect grain, flour, etc., and brand their qualities. Now, for the same reasons, would it not be well to have an inspector of Daguerreotypes?—We think it would, and hope that the Legislature, next fall, will take this matter up, and give it that calm and serious consideration which it deserves.  But as they probably will not understand this subject as well as they do that of unequal and arbitrary taxation, we will assist them, by furnishing for the purpose, a plan of a stamp or stencil plate, viz:—Taken for_________by­­­­­­­­­­­__________, an experimenter in the art, cost one dollar or fifty cents, as the case may be, which would be determined by the quality of the article; and then, on the event of our plan’s being accepted, we fancy we see Daguerreotypes finding their way into the price current of the day, reported thus:

Daguerreotypes, common brand, various prices, ranging from 37½ cts. to a dollar—little or no demand. Genuine article, medium size, ready sale, and firm at three dollars.  Remarks—public taste improving.

We are aware that our endeavors to hold these cadets in the art up to public gaze, that they may be seen in their true light, may, by some, be misconstrued into envy on our part, and by exciting public sympathies, increase the evil which we are trying to abate. But, however deplorable such a result would be, the task had to be performed.—For we should hold the man guilty indeed, who would sit in silence, and see the community in which he resides deluded by impostors.  But our object must not be mistaken.  Our intention is not to abuse, but rather to convince these mercenary operators that they have either mistaken their profession, or have most shamefully neglected to give it that attention and careful study which it requires,  and by improving the public taste, force this conviction upon them.

Moulson’s reply on the following day August 14, 1852;

Let the galled jade wince.”—When a slave is under the lash, his master trying to subdue a spirit of insubordination, the pain sinking deep into his soul, in a spirit of defiance he will often cry, “Oh, you don’t hurt.” Apply the lash, and he piteously cries for mercy.  So is it with some of our Daguerreotypist, for when we, to accommodate a large and respectable class of our citizens, brought down the prices of our pictures, the cry was heard, “it will ruin them,” “nobody will take such things,” &c., they have seen to their great mortification the gallery at 110 Main street crowded from early morn till twilight with the elite of the city; and viewing their own beggarly account of empty benches, cry out for protection by legislative enactment.  Could they produce superior pictures there would be no use for this.  We are delighted with the high encomiums of praise passed upon our productions of the art, and while we continue to receive the applause of the “fair, better part of creation” we shall be content to think, as we are sure thousands of others think, that some of our craft are small per-Simons.  Moulson’s, 110 Main st.

Simons continues his attack on July 29, 1853;

To The Daguerrean Fraternity

When will it be that we like others

Shall form ourselves a band of brothers?

The healing art to keep out quacks

With unity thus wisely acts;

And why not we our interest watch,

Hold up the artist and put down the botch?

Tis easy if we once begin

And show the mass they’re taken in;

Have we no ______ this evil to allay,

To drive them one by one with sticks away;

Or must they ever thus pursue us?

We swarm with skulks as base as Lewis

Trades are forsaken and the arts disgraced

By gawks whose fame is on the dollar based;

They who barns should paint and lumber haul,

Shriek “taken for one dollar” on the wall.

Then some to humbug little more

Stick “patent process” top their door.

All this is done the ignorant to beguile,

When in their sleeve the would be artists smile.

Yes, those who’d acorn the Doctor’s skill

That ignorantly prescribes a pill,

Do quite as bad, nay, even worse,

Encourage him who robs their purse;

Distorts their features, then, with a grace,

Asks you if that is not your face.

The feud continues until May 27, 1854, Moulson’s last advertisement appears in the Daily Dispatch which ran until June 6th.  On June 21, 1854, a constable sale is advertised the following items will be sold on June 23d, 1 mahogany sofa,; 1 pair of card tables; 1 mahogany show case; 1 rocking chair; 5 cane seat chairs; a lot of medallions and daguerrean cases.  Another sale was scheduled for July 11 to sell off all the fixtures at the Daguerrean Gallery.

The second dispute occurs with Jesse H. Whitehurst. Simons advertises On December 2, 1854 that he won the highest award, at the Virginia Mechanics Institute Fair.  Both Whitehurst and Simons did in fact win Silver Medals, but Whitehurst name appears first in the report.  The bantering goes back and forth Whitehurst citing the committees report and Simons going off on a tangent about Whitehurst claim to have won the highest award at the World’s Fair in London a bronze medal and Simons continues to refer to Whitehurst as the “Bronze Medal Man.”

Simons does bring up an interesting point in one of his advertisements, Whitehurst won many awards in New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, D. C. wherever he had a studios. Did Whitehurst actually take the image for which the award was given, or did his studio representatives take the image and then he took the credit because he owned the studio and his operators were his employees.

The third argument occurred again in the newspaper but went much further this time. On October 13, 1855, Simons advertises that he is taking Ambrotypes.  On October 15th Peter E. Gibbs responds

To Mr. M. P. Simons—Sir: Unless you discontinue the use of the word Ambrotype to your card. [which is my property as applied to Glass Pictures.] I shall proceed at once to require you to show cause why you infringe on my rights. ….

Simons continues to advertise Ambrotypes and on November 30th the notice appears in the paper.

Infringing a Patent.—In the U. S. Circuit Court, for the eastern district of Virginia. Judge Halyburton presiding, an application has been made by Mr. P. E. Gibbs for an injunction to restrain Mr. M. P. Simons from infringing a patent for making ambrotype pictures, of which Gibbs is assignee.—In consequence of the delay in receiving papers from the Patent Office in Washington, the case was adjourned until Thursday next, when it will be taken up and argued at length, by A. Judson Crane, Esq., for the complainant, and Messrs. August and Randolph for the respondent.

Court delays and Simons continuing to advertise the term Ambrotypes in numerous advertisements, the bantering and baiting from both Gibbs and Simons finely comes to blows as reported in the Dispatch on January 31, 1856.

Spoiling Pictures.—We understand that Messrs. Simons and Gibbs, picture makers, came in collision on Eagle Square yesterday morning, and made an effort to disfigure each others profiles, but were prevented from doing so by the interposition of bystanders, who separated them. These gentlemen have been pitching into each other, through the newspapers, for several weeks.  Which of the two has had the best of that fight, the public can decide.

Possibly a contributing factor for the continued resentment of each other may have been their egos, they both went so far that neither one could back down. In addition to advertising in the local newspapers Simons wrote articles to the Photographic and Fine Arts Journals, “claiming that he had the right to make Ambrotypes and that he was not infringing on Cuttings patent because he used varnish not balsam to seal the two pieces of glass together.[ii]”  In reading through the advertisements one could surmise that he believed as an artist he had the right to make Ambrotypes and that Cuttings patent had no more right to the exclusive use of two glasses than he had to the word Ambrotype.  A side note Whitehurst on January 26, 1856 reports in an advertisement that he had purchased an equal interest with P. E. Gibbs in his Ambrotype patent for the city of Richmond.  Most of the other Galleries in Richmond also advertise that they too are taking Ambrotypes.

On April 25, 1856 Simons last advertisement appears in The Daily Dispatch it ran until May 22, 1856.  On June 26 an advertisement appeared

For Rent.—The family part of the house at present occupied by M. P. Simons, No. 151 Main street. Possession given 27th August next.  On August 15, 1856 an advertisement appears auctioning off oil Paintings and furniture by virtue of a deed of trust to sell at M. P. Simons Daguerrean Rooms, 151 Main Street on August 23 at 10 o’clock a lot of furniture, consisting in part of tables, chairs, carpets, stoves, frames, &c. Also a lot of oil paintings, amongst which are some very valuable.

In conclusion many questions need to be answered. Was Simons’ business failing or was there a reason that he needed to return to Philadelphia?  By all indications his business in Richmond was thriving, reports in the papers indicated that he was very good and had many patrons.  What may have happen was a loss of business due to his disagreement with Gibbs.  An advertisement that appeared on February 2, 1856, stated that Gibb is a born and bred Virginian, which Simons was not.  Another explanation could be a decline in revenue due to competition from the makers of inexpensive images, such as Johnson (no first name) he advertises that he has twelve years’ experience, and has two wagons on the corner of 7th & Broad Streets. Johnson’s advertisements appear in the Dispatch starting on March 28, 1856 and the last advertisement appears on January 28, 1857, he is charging 50 cents for daguerreotypes; Other daguerreotypist working in Richmond in 1856 were E. M. Powers who is charging $1; Daniel Bendann advertises that his pictures are cheaper than anywhere else, but does not specify a specific price; Powers & Duke are making 50 cent daguerreotypes; William A. Pratt was not doing a lot of advertising and on May 17, 1856 announces that he now has the assistance of Sanxay & Chalmers and proceeds to go to Europe.  In an advertisement dated November 28, 1856 Sanxay & Chalmers announce that they had purchased the business from Pratt on May 5.  A. W. Osborne and Peter E. Gibbs do not list prices in their advertisements.  Where Pratt, Simons, and Whitehurst; do not list prices in their advertisements they are thought to be the elite photographers in Richmond.  By October of 1856 Albert Litch is running the Whitehurst Gallery in Richmond and by April of 1857 Whitehurst is no longer operating there, later in year Litch has also left.

In-fighting and disagreements between photographers is not uncommon Southworth and Whipple in Boston, Mass.; Allen and Van Alstin in Worcester, Mass.; Allen & Partridge in Wheeling, Va. and Tyler & Company where ever they had a presence, to name only a few.

[i] At this time it is not possible to confirm his identity. There are two General Lopez that are found when doing an internet search, but without the image or more information it is only speculation that either man is the correct General.  They are Antonio Lopes de Santa Anna, (1794-1876) Mexican President and General; and General Narciso Lopez (1797-1851) who was most notably known for his invasion of Cuba in 1850, he was defeated and retreated to Key West, he returned again in 1851 with the same results, he and his men were once again defeated, this time they were captured and most were executed.

[ii] The Ambrotype : a misunderstood history of a nineteenth century photographic process. By Sarah Janille Templeton.