London, U.K.

moncure-daniel-conway-c-1890-london-house-divided-project-dickinson-college
Moncure Daniel Conway and family at their London home, ca. 1890s, photographer unknown, via House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College.

Moncure Conway (third from the left) was a southern abolitionist, born in Virginia to a prominent slave-owning family and educated at Dickinson. After college, he first became a circuit-riding Methodist minister, but then a crisis of conscience led him to further study at Harvard and ministry in the Unitarian Church. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he undertook a mission to promote the anti-slavery, pro-Union cause to Great Britain. London became his home for most of the rest of his life as he led the nonconformist South Place Ethical Society.

From the mallets in the picture, members of the family seem to have just finished a croquet game. The maid is bringing out tea.

Cheshire County, N.H.


“Ladies playing croquet,” probably Cheshire County, New Hampshire, ca. 1900, by Bion Whitehouse, via Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County Commons on flickr.

Technically, they are playing roque, an American variant* of croquet, which is played on a hard sand or clay surface. Introduced in the late 1880s, it was extremely popular in the first few decades of the 20th century — and an Olympic sport in 1904 — and then almost entirely disappeared after the 1950s.

The roque grounds.

The photo above was published between 1900 and 1919, photographer unknown. It is part of the Termaine Arkley Croquet Collection and via UBC (University of British Columbia) Library Digitization Centre Commons on flickr.

There’s also a photo of 1918 roque grounds in Florida here.


*There is also a modern game of beach croquet.