Brigadier General Abram Duryée


Abram Duryée (1815–90) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in New York City, he graduated from Columbia University and was a wealthy mahogany importer. He rose rapidly in the New York State Militia to reach the rank of colonel in 1859. Unlike many generals from both the North and the South, he did not see action in the Mexican War. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Duryée recruited a regiment, known as Duryée’s Zouaves, or the Fifth New York, which he led during the Battle of Big Bethel (June 10, 1861) in Virginia. In August 1861 he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned a brigade in the Army of the Potomac. He was wounded during the Second Battle of Bull Run, also known as Second Manassas, which took place on August 28‒30, 1862, and several other times in the war. He resigned from the army in January 1863, but at the end of the war, he was brevetted a major general of volunteers for his valiant service. He returned to New York City, where in the 1870s he became the police commissioner and then dockmaster. The image is from an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a photographer himself. The album was a gift to the emperor from Edward Anthony (1818‒88), another early American photographer who, in partnership with his brother, owned a company that in the 1850s became the leading seller of photographic supplies in the United States. Dom Pedro may have acquired the album during a trip to the United States in 1876 when he, along with President Ulysses S. Grant, opened the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Brady was born in upstate New York, the son of immigrants from Ireland. Best known for his photographs documenting the battles of the American Civil War, he began his career in 1844 when he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Streets in New York City. Over the course of the next several decades, Brady produced portraits of leading American public figures, many of which were published as engravings in magazines and newspapers. In 1858 he opened a branch in Washington, DC. The album, which also contains a small number of non-photographic prints, is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Edward Anthony, New York

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : carte-de-visite, albumen paper ; 8.7 x 5.4 centimeters


  1. Paul G. Pierpaoli, Jr., “Duryée, Abram,” in Spencer C. Tucker, editor, American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection (Santa Barbara, C.A.: ABC-CLIO, 2013).

Last updated: March 22, 2016