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Old 10-15-2011, 05:44 AM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
Barry Sloate
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 7,596

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but let me give it a shot. First, let me say that I have known about this project since its inception, and have been in contact with both Corey and Mark while the research was ongoing. I do want to congratulate them both for the comprehensive and exhaustive effort that went into this, and want to thank both for acknowledging me (though my work consisted primarily of cheerleading). And I also want to add that I will not let my longstanding friendship with Corey influence my opinion here. I sincerely hope he would want me to be objective.

Now here is something that really concerns me about this project. Corey has hired whom he considers one of the top photo experts in the country, and Mark has used the services of one of the top forensic experts. And even though both of these experts come with impeccable credentials, they can't even agree on who is pictured in the back row of this daguerreotype. You would think if each has his field down to a science, both would surely agree. But they don't. So here is the first thing I know with absolute certainty: one of these guys is dead wrong! I just don't know which one. It either is or isn't Cartwright, it's not half Cartwright! So before I go any further my radar is up.

Getting back to business. I do agree with Corey that he does not have the burden of proof here, and that it is Mark's responsibillity to prove with pretty near certainty that it is not Cartwright. I think Mark has indeed made a very good case, with very detailed facial analysis, and it has raised some concerns with me. But Corey's expert has also built a strong case that those results are not exclusionary. Who is right? Unfortunately, I don't have the expertise to be certain one way or the other. And because so much is at stake here, it would be irresponsible for me to just guess. There was an element of this study that was a bit too technical for me.

Another problem I have here is with regard to the issue of provenance. I fully understand that just because Bruce Cartwright said the guy in the back row is his grandfather, that doesn't prove he is right. But given that the family had numerous photos of AJC, it would seem extraordinary to me that when the Hall of Fame came calling for an image for Cartwright's plaque, that Bruce in fact picked the wrong person. Could have happened, but that's just as goofy as saying Abner Doubleday invented baseball.

What I have always had a problem with, however, is the identification of other people in this photo. I do not think the man with the beard and cigar is Doc Adams, and the Curry i.d. was always a bit shaky too. So in that respect I do see issues with this HPD. Yet who are these six friends who are all wearing the same straw hats? It's a mystery.

So what is my conclusion: I don't know. On a simple glance I have always felt that the man in the back row looked different than the man pictured in the quarter and sixth plate dags of Cartwright. I had many discussions with Corey and he seemed to feel that Cartwright's face changed somewhat over the years. And that's part of the problem. If you take a look at a picture of him as both a young and old man, it's easy to see that his face changed considerably. That makes this debate that much more difficult. So I have to say at this point I am on the fence. I cannot say with any certainty whether or not the man in the back row is Alexander Cartwright, and with so much on the line I choose not to speculate. And I sense this matter may never be sufficiently resolved.

Last edited by barrysloate; 10-15-2011 at 05:53 AM.
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