December 29, 2015

President Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore (1800‒74) was the 13th president of the United States. The son of a poor tenant farmer from western New York, Fillmore received only a very limited education. After being apprenticed to a clothier, he read law with a local judge and was admitted to the New York state bar in 1823. A member of the Whig Party, he served three terms in the New York state legislature and four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being chosen as the vice-presidential running mate of Zachary Taylor in the election of 1848. He succeeded to the presidency upon Taylor’s death in July 1850. The major achievement of Fillmore’s presidency was the Compromise of 1850, worked out by Whig Party leader Henry Clay, which helped to avoid civil war for another decade. He also dispatched Commodore Matthew C. Perry on his famous mission to open Japan to trade with the West. 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.

William H. Prescott

William Hickling Prescott (1796‒1859) was a prominent American historian, best known for his major works History of the Conquest of Mexico (1843) and History of the Conquest of Peru (1847). From a prosperous New England family, he graduated from Harvard in 1814. He suffered poor health, including near-blindness, throughout his life, but he was able to carry out his research with the help of his wife, Susan Amory Prescott, and others who read for him. For his meticulous use of archival documents and rare books as original sources, he is often called America’s first scientific historian. He chose big, sweeping themes for his work, and wrote about them with grace and a narrative flair. His other books include History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic (1837) and A History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain (1855–58). 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 Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois

Stephen A. Douglas (1813‒61) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843 and to the Senate in 1846, where he emerged as a nationally prominent spokesman for the Democratic Party. He is best known for the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. Running for his third term in the Senate, Douglas was challenged by Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer from Springfield who had served one term in the House. Between August 21 and October 15 the two men debated seven times before audiences in different cities and towns in Illinois, with the central issue being slavery. Douglas championed what was known as popular sovereignty, the position that held that the voters of each territory should determine whether it entered the Union as a free state or a slave state. Lincoln opposed the extension of slavery to new states and territories under all circumstances. In the November 2 election the Republicans won more popular votes than the Democrats, but the state legislature voted to return Douglas to the Senate. Douglas ran for president in 1860, but was defeated by Lincoln. 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.

The Photographic Album

The Photographic Album is an album of 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.

Washington Irving

Washington Irving (1783‒1859) was one of the most widely read American authors of his day, and one of the first to be recognized in Europe for his works of fiction. Born in New York City of Scottish and Cornish ancestry, Irving frequently wrote about old New York (New Amsterdam) and the Hudson Valley under the original Dutch settlers, at first by creating a literary persona, the fictional Dutchman “Diedrich Knickerbocker.” His most famous work, The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1819‒20), purportedly by another persona, contained the famous “Rip Van Winkle,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and other tales. Irving also wrote biographies of Christopher Columbus and George Washington, and served as U.S. minister to Spain in 1842‒46. 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.

Governor Sam Houston of Texas

Sam Houston (1793‒1863) was born in Virginia. As a teenager he lived for three years among the Cherokee Indians, whose language and culture he learned. He enlisted in the army in 1813 and fought in the War of 1812. After studying law and being elected to Congress and then as governor of Tennessee, he moved to Texas, where he played a large role in the uprising of American settlers against Mexican rule. He served for two terms as president of the independent Republic of Texas. After Texas was annexed by the United States, he served in the U.S. Senate and as governor of Texas. Like his hero and mentor Andrew Jackson, he was a slave owner who nonetheless favored preservation of the Union. He opposed the secession of Texas from the United States and was deposed as governor in 1861 when Texas opted to join the Confederacy. 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.