The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Benjamin Moran, 1820-1886

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1820
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1886
Place of Death:


Benjamin Moran was a diplomat.


In 1853 Moran was appointed temporary clerk at the United States Embassy in London and the following year he obtained a permanent post as private secretary to James Buchanan, minister to Great Britain. From 1857 to 1864 he was Assistant Secretary and from 1864 to 1874 Secretary to the U.S. Legation, often acting as charge d'affaires on the absence of the minister. He kept a private journal from 1857, which described visitors to the embassy and social, diplomatic, political and military events of the day, which is now in the Library of Congress.

In the 1860s Moran met Anna McNeill Whistler, George Washington Whistler, JW and the Winans in London.

From 1874 to 1876 Moran was the U.S. minister to Portugal and the U.S. charge d'affaires in Lisbon from 1876 to 1882. He wrote a history of American literature in Trubner's Bibliographical Guide to American Literature (1859).


Wallace, Sarah A., and Francis A. Gillespie (eds), The Journal of Benjamin Moran, 1857-1865, 2 vols, Chicago, 1948-49; Bennett, John, 'Benjamin Moran', Crossfire, no. 57, August 1998.