This photo from the 1870s features a solemn woman with a crown of braids. Her dress appears to have been velvet. Victorian fashions were much more bold in their color choices at times, so this dress could have been blue with red trim, brown with green trim, orange with black trim, etc. We will never know, of course. She chose to sit for T. L. Darnell of Cumberland, MD.
UPDATE: a site reader advised that Darnell did not open his studio until 1889, so this photo must be from that time or later. It conflicts with the clothing estimate, unless she was photographed in the first couple years of his operation. Or, maybe she didn’t like the big puffy sleeves of the ’90s. :-)