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Antique Mid 19th Century Photograph of American Actor James E. Murdoch

Price: $250
  • Item No: 75926

Antique Mid 19th Century Photograph of American Actor James E. Murdoch. It is inscribed to Orlando Hopkins a captain in the US Army since 1862. The photograph is a Civil War image measuring 7-1/4 inches wide by 9 inches high. The matte size is 14-1/8 inches high by 11 inches wide. James E Murdoch 1/25/1811 - 5/19/1893 An American Actor and Elocutionist given to Orlando Hopkins a captain in the U.S. army circa mid 19th century became a captain in 1862 .James E. Murdoch (January 25, 1811 – May 19, 1893) was an American actor and elocutionist. James Edward Murdoch (sometimes spelled "Murdock") was born in Philadelphia, the eldest of four sons of Thomas and Elizabeth Murdoch. James apprenticed under his father in the business of bookbinding. He served as a volunteer fireman with the Vigilant Company. In 1829, he made his first dramatic appearance as Frederick in Kotzebue's play Lover's Vows. He had his first lead role in 1830 with the traveling company of Vincent DeCamp. The following year, he married Eliza Middlecott. In 1832, while suffering from indigestion, he accidentally ingested a preparation of arsenic. A doctor was called in and saved his life, but thereafter he would suffer health problems and fatigue.] During the succeeding years he took various roles on the stage. His career prospects began to take a turn for the better in 1845 when he played the role of Hamlet at Park Theater, New York. For years afterward, he was considered the best performer of Hamlet on the American stage. For the next fifteen years he played a variety of roles and became a leading light on the American stage. He co-authored a work titled, Orthophony; or the Cultivation of the Voice, in Elocution in 1847. In 1850, Murdoch relocated to southern Ohio, buying a home in Cincinnati and a farm in southern Warren County. In 1853, he appeared in California as an early acting pioneer for that region. A visit to England in 1856 led to an engagement at the Haymarket Theatre that lasted for over one hundred consecutive nights. During the American Civil War, he entertained troops and performed benefits for the wounded. After the war, the residents of the area in Warren County, Ohio surrounding Murdoch's farm petitioned to have the region renamed Murdoch, Ohio in his honor. Murdoch, Ohio retained a post office for almost twenty years. Currently, it is an unincorporated community. During the last two years of his life he suffered from various ailments and was cared for by his two daughters, Fanny and Ida. He is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati. Orlando Hopkins Ross : Appointed from Illinois, Second Lieutenant 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 1 October 1862; Captain, Aide de Camp of Volunteers, 11 March 1863; Resigned 7 October 1864. Died 13 October 1892. Buried with full military honors in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery. His stone says, in part, "On the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant."