U.S. Senator William Mahone
A United States senator from Virginia from 1881 until 1887, William Mahone peers directly at the camera in this portrait made in Washington D.C. Scratched into the emulsion at the top of the glass-plate negative is "Mahone, 2462, Sen. Billy Mahone." This image is part of the Brady-Handy photograph collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of some 10,000 negatives from the Washington, D.C., photographic studios of Mathew Brady and his nephew, Levin Corbin Handy, most of them portraits of political and military leaders during and after the Civil War.
A former Confederate general, William Mahone was elected to the Senate as a member of the short-lived Readjuster Party, an unlikely coalition of poor whites and African Americans interested in repudiating a portion of the massive state debt and, in so doing, restoring social services such as free public education.