Mathew Brady was a Civil War photographer, and is commonly referred to as the “Father of Battlefield Photography.” Born in Johnsburg, Brady’s images of the death, destruction, and daily life soldiers experienced provided proof to the public of the reality of war.
To honor one of their own, the Johnsburg Historical Society placed a cast-iron marker near the site of his birth on State Route 28 last year, but after its mysterious disappearance, the Society has set its sights on a more permanent tribute.
Photo Credit: Company of Infantry on Parade, Captured by Mathew Brady via photopin (license)
When the blue and yellow sign went missing last August, the thief made off with not only the plaque, but also the pole it was attached to, and its deep concrete footing, meaning it could’ve only been dug up with a tractor. An investigation has come up empty, but the Historical Society is determined to move forward.
To raise a goal amount of $1,900 for a new marker, the Johnsburg Historical Society started a campaign on www.adirondackgives.org. As of the writing of this article, 53 backers had contributed $2,615, far exceeding the targeted amount. The Post Star reported that donations began pouring in after The New York Times ran a story about the theft.
The Historical Society has decided to use these extra funds to develop a permanent Mathew Brady exhibit, the details of which are yet to be worked out.
According to The New York Times, “[Abraham] Lincoln credited pictures that Brady took of him during the 1860 campaign with helping him become president by making his likeness familiar to voters throughout the country.” Of approximately 10,000 photos that documented the Civil War, the vast majority were taken by Brady and his students or employees.
The community looks forward to learning more about this locally-born figure and to honoring him with a new marker and permanent exhibit. Interested in donating to the cause? You can still make a contribution online for 36 more days.
- The New York Times – Adirondack Town Mystery: Who Stole Marker for a Civil War Photographer?
- The Post Star – Mathew Brady historical marker will be replaced; Theft of historical sign remains a mystery
- AdirondackGives.org – Help Us Replace The Stolen Mathew Brady Historical Marker