Halftone (ink on paper) bust portrait of Judah P. Benjamin as an English Barrister, 6.5 x 9 in. N.d., ca 1880. Benjamin is depicted wearing his courtroom robe and long curled wig. The illustration of Benjamin in the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia was made from this portrait.
Benjamin was a wealthy North Carolinian slave owner, an advocate for slavery, and dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States. At age fourteen, he graduated from Yale with a degree in law. He enjoyed a successful career as a lawyer and in politics. He served as senator for the State of Louisiana from 1852 until Louisiana's secession. Benjamin was a loyal supporter of Jefferson Davis, who rewarded Benjamin by appointing him Attorney-General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State for the Confederacy. He was the only member of the Confederate cabinet that did not own slaves while he served and the the first Jewish man to hold a cabinet-level office in the history of the United States. Before he could be captured and tried for treason after the Civil War, he fled to Great Britain where he lived the rest of his days working as a successful barrister.
Illustration is in fine condition, with light wear to edges.
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