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Cornell University Library
Curational comment from "Dawn's Early Light: The First 50 Years of American Photography", October 20, 2011 - May 4, 2012, Hirshland Exhibition Gallery in Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University
This photograph of Brady was taken by Sarony, one of Brady's leading competitors in New York. By this time Brady was under great financial strain. He had mortgaged his future on his vast archive of Civil War photographs, but the public no longer desired them. In 1876 Congress purchased his negatives for $25,000, thereby preserving them for posterity, but the entire sum was swallowed up by Brady's debts. Brady died impoverished in 1891.