Eliza and Dunmore Gwinn
Original Author: Unknown
Created: 1862
Medium: Carte de visite
Publisher: Moncure Conway Foundation

Eliza and Dunmore Gwinn

Eliza and Dunmore Gwinn, a couple who had been enslaved by the Conway family in Falmouth, Virginia, escaped to Washington, D.C., at the beginning of the American Civil War (1861–1865). The Gwinns moved to Georgetown, opened a cake-and-candy store, and, at some point in 1862, posed for this photograph. In late July of that year, Moncure Conway, who had grown into a fervent abolitionist, gathered the Gwinns, along with twenty-nine enslaved people formerly of his father's household, and led them on a sometimes-dangerous train ride to Yellow Springs, Ohio. There, the freed people settled along the Little Miami River in what became known as the Conway Colony.