Prince Robert d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres


Robert-Philippe-Louis-Eugène-Ferdinand d'Orléans, duc de Chartres (1840–1910) was a French army officer and grandchild of Louis-Philippe, duc d’Orléans and king of the French from 1830 to 1848, who served as a Union army officer in the American Civil War. Born in Paris, he left France for Turin after the fall of the monarchy in 1848, where he received military training and was commissioned with the 21st Dragoons, a Piedmontese regiment. During the Civil War, he traveled with his brother, Prince Philippe, and uncle, Prince François d'Orléans, to the United States to offer support to President Abraham Lincoln. The three men served under General George B. McClellan in the Army of the Potomac. The brothers resigned their commissions in 1862 and in 1863 Prince Robert returned to England. 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.

Last updated: March 30, 2016