This was a surprise because my mom bought it for me when she and my dad were at Gettysburg for a little getaway vacation (their home is maybe an hour and a half from Gettysburg). The subject of the card is George Pope Morris, a 19th century American poet, and co-founder of the New York Evening Mirror which you may know of if you’re an Edgar Allan Poe fan, because it was where “The Raven” was first published in 1845, marking the first time the name Edgar Allan Poe was seen in print.
The quotation on the back of the CDV is the title of one of George P. Morris’ most famous poems, “Woodman, Spare That Tree”, which was also made into a popular song. The image must be from the last years of his life, as he died in 1864.
For more information about George Pope Morris, Wikipedia entry, George Pope Morris. From the accolades he received from his peers, it sounds like he’s yet another 19th century American (not to mention English) verist whose oeuvre is better off forgotten. If you really want to torture yourself, click here to hear a contemporary performance of the song. Trust me, you’ll need to cleanse your auditory palate afterward with a good dose of heavy metal or Justin Bieber or even cats having sex. But it’s informative as to the mindset and taste of the early Victorians when it came to popular entertainment.