December 29, 2015

Major General Ambrose Burnside

Ambrose Burnside (1824−81) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in Liberty, Indiana, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1847. Unlike many generals from both the North and the South, he did not see action in the Mexican War of 1846−48. He resigned his commission in 1853 to manufacture a breech-loading rifle that he had invented, and then worked in the railroad industry. With the outbreak of the Civil War he returned to the army, and commanded troops in the capture of Roanoke Island and at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam. From November 1862 to January 1863, during the Fredericksburg Campaign, he commanded the Army of the Potomac. He later fought under General Ulysses S. Grant in the Battles of the Wilderness and Cold Harbor (1864). After the war he served as governor of Rhode Island (1866−69) and U.S. senator from the same state (1875−81). His distinctive whiskers led to the coining of the word “sideburns.” 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.

Brigadier General John Pope

John Pope (1822−92) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1842 and served in the Mexican War of 1846−48 and in the Army engineering corps in connection with the development of the American West. When the Civil War broke out, he initially commanded troops in the western theater of the war, where he scored his most notable military achievement, the capture, on April 8, 1862, of Island Number Ten in the Mississippi River, a severe blow to Confederate control of the river. He then was put in command of the Army of Virginia, but he was relieved of this command after the reverse of the Second Battle of Bull Run. 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.

President Jefferson Davis, Confederate States of America

Jefferson Davis (1808-89) was the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, the nation formed in 1861 by the secession from the Union of 11 southern states. Born on the Mississippi frontier, Davis graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and became a slaveholding landowner on a plantation given to him by a wealthy older brother. He served in Congress and the Senate in the 1840s, fought with distinction in the Mexican War of 1846‒48, and in 1853 was appointed secretary of war by President Franklin Pierce. He returned to the Senate in 1857, where he advocated the spread of slavery to new territories. He was the unanimous choice of the seceding states to head the Confederacy. Davis worked hard at his presidential duties, but he was far less successful than his northern rival, Abraham Lincoln, either in inspiring the public or in mastering the enormous military and political challenges brought by the long Civil War. After the war, Davis was charged with treason, although not tried for it, and served two years in prison at Fort Monroe, Virginia. 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.

Senator John Slidell of Louisiana

John Slidell (1793-1871) was a United States senator and a Confederate diplomat, best remembered for his involvement in the Trent affair, which in 1861 nearly brought war between the United States and Great Britain. Slidell was born in New York City into a wealthy merchant family and graduated from Columbia College. He worked for a time in Europe and then as a lawyer in New York. In 1819 he moved to New Orleans, where he married Marie Mathilde Deslonde, from a distinguished French family. Slidell served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1843 to 1845 and in the Senate from 1853 to 1861. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he was chosen to represent the Confederacy in France. He was on his way to Europe on the British mail steamer Trent when the ship was intercepted by U.S. naval forces. Slidell and fellow passenger James Mason were detained for a time at Fort Warren in Boston harbor, but eventually allowed to continue their journey. Slidell worked to build the Confederate navy by purchasing ships in France and acquired French loans using cotton as collateral, but he was never able to achieve his chief goal, formal recognition by a European power of the Confederacy as an independent state. 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.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln (1818‒82) was the wife of President Abraham Lincoln and first lady of the United States during the Civil War. Born into a large and influential family in Kentucky, she moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1837, where she met Lincoln. As first lady, Mary Lincoln renovated the White House, established a salon where political and literary figures could meet, nursed wounded soldiers in hospitals, and raised money for impoverished former slaves who were flooding into Washington. She helped to define the role of the modern first lady that was emulated in different forms by her successors. She and Lincoln had four sons, Robert Todd (1843‒1926), Edward Baker (1846‒50), William Wallace (1850‒62), and Thomas “Tad” (1853‒71), three of whom died during her lifetime. She was especially hard hit by the death of William (“Willie”), who was stricken by typhoid fever in the second year of Lincoln’s first term. She was with Lincoln when he was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. As a widow, Mary Lincoln sought out spiritualists who she hoped could enable her to communicate with her sons, and in 1875 she was consigned to an insane asylum at the initiative of her son Robert. With the help of Myra Bradwell, one of the first female lawyers in the United States, she won her release and lived most of the rest of her life in France. 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.

Secretary of the Navy Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate States of America

Judah P. Benjamin (1811−84) was a wealthy lawyer who served as attorney general, secretary of war, and secretary of state in the cabinet of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. (In this photograph he is misidentified as secretary of the navy). Born in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, he was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and attended law school at Yale. He practiced law in New Orleans and became a planter who at one point owned 140 slaves. Benjamin was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana in 1852 and served until early 1861 when, with the secession of the southern states, Davis appointed him attorney general, making him the first Jew to hold a cabinet-level office in an American government. After the war, he fled to England, where he practiced law and wrote a book regarded as a legal classic, The Sale of Personal Property (1868). His face appeared on the Confederate two-dollar bill, although in a different image from the one shown here. 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.