Thuss Studio (William Gustav Thuss and Andrew Joseph Thuss), [Alfred Jackson], ca. 1889
The sitter is “Uncle Alfred,” one of Andrew Jackson’s slaves at the Hermitage outside of Nashville. Alfred Jackson (ca. 1812–1901), the head coachman, was the son of Betty, Jackson’s cook. After emancipation, Alfred stayed at the Hermitage as a tenant farmer and eventually led tours when the house was turned into a museum in 1889. This image was probably taken at the Thuss studio in Nashville but such images were likely sold at the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, where the brothers operated a studio and where Jackson was featured. Integral parts of Nashville’s photographic community at the turn of the twentieth century, the Thusses opened their first studio in 1889 and a second in 1916. Their partnership dissolved the following year and each ran his own studio under the Thuss name.