With emancipation a fait accompli by 1865, one might ask why Kentucky-born Thomas Satterwhite Noble (1835–1907), former Confederate soldier, son of a border state slaveholder, began painting slaves then. Noble had known the “peculiar institution” at first hand, albeit from a privileged position within the master class. As a result, his choice to embark upon a career as a painter using historical incidents from slavery makes for an interesting study. Were the paintings a way of atoning for his Confederate culpability, a rebel pounding his sword into a paintbrush to appease the conquering North? Or was he capitalizing on his unique geographic perspective as a scion of slave-trafficking Frankfort, Kentucky, soon to head a prestigious art school in Cincinnati, the city where so many runaways first tasted freedom? Between 1865 and 1869 Noble exhibited in northern cities a total of eight paintings with African American subjects. Two of these, The Last Sale of Slaves in St. Louis (1865, repainted ca. 1870) and Margaret Garner (1867), featured mixed-race women, or mulattos, as they had come to be called. From a young female up for auction, to the famous fugitive Margaret Garner, his portrayals show a transformation taking place within perceptions of biracial women in post-emancipation America. Opinions about mulattos surfaced in a range of theoretical discussions, from the scientific to the political, as strategists North and South envisioned evolving social policy.