Photographs by AUGUSTUS WASHINGTON(John Brown 1846-7)
Biography of AUGUSTUS WASHINGTON
He was born in Trenton, New Jersey as the son of a former slave and a woman of South Asian descent. He studied at Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, New York and the Kimball Union Academy before entering Dartmouth College in 1843. He learned making daguerreotypes during his first year to finance his college education, but had to leave Dartmouth College in 1844 due to increasing debts. He moved to Hartford, Connecticut, teaching black students at local school and opening a daguerrean studio in 1846.
Washington makes a decision to emigrate to Liberia in 1852. It takes him a year to save up enough money to travel and he moved in 1853 with his wife and his two small children. He wanted to move to Liberia because he believed African Americans should leave the United States and start their own colony in Africa where they would not be discriminated against and enjoy equal rights. The American Colonization Society started the process of moving African Americans to Liberia and help fund the colony. Washington opened a daguerrean studio in the capital Monrovia and also traveled to the neighboring countries Sierra Leone, Gambia and Senegal. He later gave up his photographic work and became a sugarcane grower and politician, serving in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He died in Monrovia in 1875.