The Story and the Authors

In 1984 in Baltimore, Maryland my mother and I went to an auction at an antique shop on Howard Street. My mother came specifically to bid on a 19th century photograph album filled with portraits of African Americans, mostly from the midwest.

Determined, my mother won the bidding that day and we took home a family treasure.Actually a lost family treasure belonging to a woman we would soon learn was named Fannie Keene, Through years of research we would learn so much more about her and many of the other pictured in her album.

Nearly 100 people are pictured in Fannie’s album and there are nearly 80 images. Most portraits were made following the Civil War and Emancipation. Three of the photographs appear to have been taken after 1900 and as late as the 1920s.

It is likely no such album like this exists with this many photos connected to one person in some way.

Fannie seems to have been a remarkable woman. Born in 1842 according to an inscription on the inside cover of the album, she survived slavery, the Civil War and Emancipation and would marry at least three, perhaps four times, outliving all of her husbands. She died on August 2, 1925 in the small town of Frankford, Missouri.

To learn more consider buying the book. Click here to see more of the images inside and read a few excerpts.

Waiting to be Found: The Lost Treasure of Fannie Keene is a book about her and what we learned about many of the others pictured in her album.