Tag Archives: 1890s

Liberators

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Fitz W. Guerin, a former Union soldier and later a celebrated St. Louis–based photographer, took this “tableau” photograph in 1898 depicting a Union and Confederate soldier shaking hands while a young girl, identified as “Cuba,” stands behind them and shows her broken chain. Titled “Cuba Libre,” this photograph was one of many visual representations that celebrated the Spanish-American War as a conflict that not only reconciled former enemies but also continued the Civil War struggle of “emancipation” and even made Confederates contributors to that effort. Notably, the soldiers now helped liberate a young white girl, the personification of Cuba, instead of African American slaves.