Thaddeus Hyatt
1817? - 1901
Affluent, flamboyant inventor and committed abolitionist Thaddeus Hyatt came to Kansas in 1856 as president of the National Kansas Committee, one of many groups that raised funds for antislavery immigrants to the territory. Hyatt's group amassed more than $100,000 but was touched with scandal in December 1856, when it appeared that Hyatt and his partner would reap large personal profits before the settlement took shape. Still, Hyatt's spirit prevailed. In 1859 he raised money for John Brown's widow after the raid on Harpers Ferry, and in 1860 he again led a national campaign to help Kansas settlers whose farms had been virtually destroyed by a two-year drought. Hyatt's extraordinary investigative report on the drought combined statistics and eyewitness accounts with strong rhetoric, inspiring President James Buchanan to contribute $100 to the relief fund, insuring its success. Hyatt served as American consul to La Rochelle, France, in 1864 and 1865, and eventually settled in England. This photograph was probably made in January 1857, when Hyatt and the National Kansas Committee met for the first and only time in New York City.

Mathew Brady Studio
Imperial salted-paper print, 1857
46 x 34.5 cm (18 1/8 x 13 1/2 inches); 29 x 23 inches framed
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
on deposit from Harvard College Library; bequest of Evert Jansen Wendell