A Female House Servant, New Orleans, ca. 1840

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Image Reference

Published in E.D.C. Campbell and K.S. Rice, eds., Before Freedom Came: African-American Life in the Antebellum South (Univ. Press of Virginia, 1991), plate 3, p. 10; painting in the Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans.

Oil painting showing upper torso and head of female household servant, wearing the mandatory "tignon" or kerchief. The subject of this painting is only identified as a maid of the Douglas family in New Orleans. "A New Orleans city ordinance required all black female residents to wear a kerchief . . . over their heads" (Campbell and Rice, p. x).