ca. 1845, “The Branded Hand of Captain Jonathan Walker”, Southworth and Hawes
The inscription on the back of the case reads:
This Daguerreotype was taken by Southworth Aug. 1845 it is a copy of Captain Jonathan Walker’s hand as branded by the U.S. Marshall of the Dist. of Florida for having helped 7 men to obtain ‘Life Liberty, and Happiness.’…
The brand is “S.S.” for “Slave Stealer”. This photo inspired the famous engraving “The Branded Hand”.
via the Daguerreian Society, from the Massachusetts Historical Society
It’s not cut off, but still quite interesting.
Branding has been used for ages to identify both humans (mostly criminals throughout history, but in the 18th and 19th century, slaves were far more commonly branded) and animals.
Though PIT chips have superseded its use in almost all tracked species, the tortoises on the Galapagos islands were branded on the rear of their shell in 2003. They couldn’t feel it (the outer tortoise shell is the same material that fingernails and hair is), and it provided a permanent and life-long identification method.