Judah Philip Benjamin
1811 - 1884
Born of English parents, Judah P. Benjamin entered Yale at age fourteen and studied law in New Orleans, where he was admitted to the Bar in 1832. After a successful career in private practice, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1852 as a Whig candidate from Louisiana, but by the end of the decade he had become a Democrat and a strong supporter of James Buchanan. After Abraham Lincoln's election, he became one of the first to call for the secession of the southern states. A close friend of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Benjamin held several important cabinet posts in the Confederacy, including secretary of war and secretary of state. At the collapse of the Confederacy, Benjamin fled to England, where he practiced law with great success.

Mathew Brady Studio
Imperial salted-paper print with ink and pencil, circa 1858
50 x 43.1 cm (19 5/8 x 17 in.); 53.4 x 44.1 cm (21 x 17 3/8 in.) mount
Chicago Historical Society, Illinois