| || |
Marriage certificate with tintypes of Augustus L. Johnson and Malinda Murphy
1874, 9 July
National Museum of African American History and Culture - Smithsonian Institution
Object number: 2016.58
This marriage certificate includes tintype portraits of the betrothed, Augustus Johnson and Malinda Murphy. The couple were married on July 9, 1874. The certificate, printed by Louis Prang, has an ornamental design that includes decorative lettering and framing. An illustrated man and a woman sit on the proper right and left sides of the certificate, respectively, and each of them holds a wreath and torch.The proper right side of the certificate contains the tintype of Augustus Johnson and the proper left side contains that of Malinda Murphy. Johnson’s portrait shows him looking off to the side in 2/3 profile view. He has a beard, and he is dressed in a white shirt and dark coat. Murphy’s portrait shows her facing the camera but looking off to the proper left. She wears a dark dress with a white, ruffled collar and a white bow. Her hair is a in a braided coif and she wears dangling earrings and a tasseled necklace. Pre-printed and handwritten ink text on the certificate reads: “Marriage Certificate / Mr. Augustus Johnson and Miss Malinda Murphy / Were this ninth 9th day of July 1874 legally joined by me in / MATRIMONY / In presence of Charles Bannister [and] Joanna Murphy to which I hereby / Certify Abraham Cole.”
The tintypes are secured to the reverse of the paper with masking tape and scotch tape. Adhesive residue is evident around the photographs indicating an older, failed attachment method. Illegible text is written in pencil oriented vertically at the top left, left center edge, and left side below the tintype. Additional pencil in the lower right written vertically reads "9 X 11 1/4". Handwritten ink text in the lower right reads "Dec. 17th 1874 / Sir / Snowing / Winds blowing / Augustus Johnson / Spencerport, NY / Monroe Co".