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R & A Petrilla

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Simmons, Roscoe Colkins Sepiatone print on old stock, a 3/4-length studio portrait of Colonel Simmons wearing a dark suit and vest, high white collar with silk bowtie, watch chain with pendant, large ring on his left hand, holding his spectacles. Image size, 13" x 10"; overall, 17" x 14". Margins toned; dust soiling on verso. Creases seen here were exaggerated by lighting, and are barely discernible on the original. "Roscoe Conkling Simmons (born 1878 or 1881, died 1951) was an African-American orator, civic leader, journalist and politician. He was graduated from Tuskegee Institute in 1899. He served as head of the Colored Division of the Speakers' Bureau of the Republican National Committee in 1920, 1924, and 1928. He was an advisor to three American presidents. He worked for the Chicago Defender from 1916 through the mid-1930s, and for the Chicago Tribune from the late 1940's until his death in 1951.The date of his birth is uncertain. Obituaries state his age in 1951 as anywhere between Simmons' own assertion that he was sixty-three and his oldest friends' statements that place his age nearer to seventy-five. A birth date of June 20,1878 in Greenview, Mississippi is listed in the earliest inventories of his papers produced by the Harvard University Archives. A passport appliction holds a 1918 certification of birth signed by his parents that state the year and place of his birth as 1881 in Macon, Mississippi." [Harvard Archives, dating this print as 1930."
  • $140