A great American eccentric tycoon who owned George Washington's carriage
(RICHARDSON, BENJAMIN.) Oscar Mason, photographer. Fabulous Albumen Photograph depicting Richardson and his great-grandson as they appeared in the Statue of Liberty Parade in New York
New York: Benjamin Richardson, c. 1886
Albumen print (7 ½ x 9 ½ inches) on original printed mount with captions and publisher information. Photograph by Oscar G. Mason. Very good condition, with deep rich tones. Archivally framed.
PATRIOTIC & ECCENTRIC COLLECTOR OF AMERICANA WHO RODE WASHINGTON’S COACH IN THE STATUE OF LIBERTY PARADE.
Born in England in 1812, Benjamin Richardson became an American citizen in 1839. In 1849 he came to San Francisco during the Gold Rush and he bought two waterfront lots at the first sale of real estate held in San Francisco. Richardson later sold these lots to the railroads for $400,000 and moved to New York. One of the great eccentrics of his day, Richardson was instantly recognizable by his waist-length flowing silvery beard and his 210-pound, five feet six inch frame. The bearded eccentric tirelessly pursued and surrounded himself with relics of American history including Lincoln relics and Washington’s coach, which he rode in the Statue of Liberty procession.
This wonderful photograph shows Richardson and his great-grandson as they appeared in the Statue of Liberty dedication parade in New York.
This photograph is accompanied by:
1. the sheet music of Richardson’s song, Uncle Ben’s Liberty Celebration Song, which used the photograph as an illustration
2. the song’s original printed certificate of copyright, completed in manuscript and signed by Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford.
Provenance: Benjamin Richardson