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.
Yellow flag iris (I. pseudacorus) in the basins of the Italian Gardens of Kensington Gardens, London, June 1924, by Roger Dumas, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.
These water gardens are over 150 years old and may have been a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria.
This autochrome is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.
*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photo (A 43 199) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.
More massive boxwood hedges — this time at Oak Hill, near Danville, Virginia, ca. 1930s, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The house was built in 1825 by the Hairston family. It burned down in 1988.