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Albert Deane Richardson

RICHARDSON, Albert Deane, journalist, born in Franklin, Massachusetts. 6 October, 1833; died in New York city, 2 December, 1869. He was educated at the district school of his native village and at Holliston academy. At eighteen years of age he went to Pitts-burg, Pennsylvania, where he formed a newspaper connection, wrote a farce for Barney Williams, and appeared a few times on the stage. In 1857 he went to Kansas, taking an active part in the political struggle of the territory, attending anti-slavery meetings, making speeches, and corresponding about the issues of the hour with the Boston "Journal." He was also secretary of the territorial legislature. Two years later he went to Pike's peak, the gold fever being then at its height, in company with Horace Greeley, between whom and Richardson a lasting friendship was formed. In the autumn of 1859 he made a journey through the southwestern territories, and sent accounts of his wanderings to eastern journals. During the winter that preceded the civil war he volunteered to go through the south as secret correspondent of the "Tribune," and returned, after many narrow escapes, just before the firing on Sumter. He next entered the field as war correspondent, and for two years alternated between Virginia and the southwest, being present at many battles. On the night of 3 May, 1863, he undertook, in company with Junius Henri Browne, a fellow-correspondent of the " Tribune," and Richard T. Colburn, of the New York " World," to run the batteries of Vicksburg on two barges, which were lashed to a steam-tug. After they had been under fire for more than half an hour, a large shell struck the tug, and, bursting in the furnace, threw the coals on the barges and set them on fire. Out of 34 men, 18 were killed or wounded and 16 were captured, the correspondents among them. The Confederate government would neither release nor exchange the "Tribune" men, who, after spending eighteen months in seven southern prisons, escaped from Salisbury, North Carolina, in the dead of winter, and, walking 400 miles, arrived within the National lines at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, several months before the close of the war. They had had charge of the hospitals at Salisbury, where a dreadful mortality prevailed, and brought with them a complete list, so far as procurable, of the deaths there, which they printed in the " Tribune," furnishing the only information that kindred and friends in the north had of their fate. Richardson's death was the result of a pistol-shot fired by Daniel McFarland in the "Tribune " office on 26 November, 1869. McFarland had lived unhappily with his wife, who had obtained a divorce and was engaged to marry Mr. Richardson. A few days before his death they were married, the ceremony being performed by the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher. Richardson's first wife had died while he was in prison. The last four years of his life were passed in lecturing, travel and writing. He published "The Field, the Dungeon, and the Escape " (Hartford, 1865); " Beyond the Mississippi " (1866); and "A Personal History of Ulysses S. Grant" (1868), all of which sold largely. A collection of his miscellaneous writings, with a memoir by his widow, Abby Sage Richardson, was printed under the title "Garnered Sheaves" (1871).--Mrs. RICHARDSON has published " Familiar Talks on English Literature" (Chicago, 1881), and several compilations, and she has appeared frequently as a lecturer.

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