Benjamin Moran

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Benjamin Moran's grave at St Mary and St Christopher's Church, Panfield, Essex. Benjamin Moran grave marker Church of St Mary and St Christopher, Panfield.jpg
Benjamin Moran's grave at St Mary and St Christopher's Church, Panfield, Essex.

Benjamin Moran (b. Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 1820 – d. Braintree, Essex, on 20 June 1886) worked at the United States Legation (later the US Embassy) in London from 1853 to 1874. [1]

Franklin County, Pennsylvania County in the United States

Franklin County is a county located in South Central Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 149,618. Its county seat is Chambersburg.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Braintree, Essex town in Essex, England

Braintree is a town in Essex, England. The principal settlement of Braintree District, it is located 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Chelmsford and 15 miles (24 km) west of Colchester. According to the 2011 Census, the town had a population of 41,634, while the urban area, which includes Great Notley, Rayne and High Garrett, had a population of 53,477.


Moran first visited England in 1851. In 1853, around the time that James Buchanan, who was from the same county in Pennsylvania as Moran, became US ambassador in London, Moran returned to England, becoming a temporary clerk at the legation. In 1854, he gained a permanent post and, in 1857, he was appointed Assistant Secretary, a post he kept until 1864, when he was promoted to Secretary, serving until 1874. From 1857, he kept a private diary which was subsequently published; the diary is of interest mainly because it documents how the US Civil War was seen in the UK. [2]

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

James Buchanan Fifteenth President of the United States

James Buchanan Jr. was the 15th president of the United States (1857–1861), serving prior to the American Civil War. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the United States Secretary of State and in both houses of Congress before becoming president.

Buchanan was elected President and George M. Dallas became Ambassador in London, where Moran stayed. From the end of 1858, Moran was co-owner of the London-based Spectator magazine, which he used to promote Buchanan's views against a generally hostile, anti-slavery British press. His co-owner was John McHenry, an American businessman who was also based in London, and they arranged the purchase through a nominee, Thornton Leigh Hunt, to disguise their connection. They dramatically altered the tone of the magazine, its circulation declined substantially and there were several occasion when Moran had to pump additional funds into the venture. Having paid £4200 for it, they sold for £2000 in January 1861, by which time Abraham Lincoln had taken over from the vacillating Buchanan. [3]

George M. Dallas 11th Vice President of the United States

George Mifflin Dallas was an American politician and diplomat who served as mayor of Philadelphia from 1828 to 1829 and as the 11th vice president of the United States from 1845 to 1849.

<i>The Spectator</i> British weekly conservative magazine on politics, culture, and current affairs

The Spectator is a weekly British magazine on politics, culture, and current affairs. It was first published in July 1828. It is owned by David and Frederick Barclay who also own The Daily Telegraph newspaper, via Press Holdings. Its principal subject areas are politics and culture. Its editorial outlook is generally supportive of the Conservative Party, although regular contributors include some outside that fold, such as Frank Field, Rod Liddle and Martin Bright. The magazine also contains arts pages on books, music, opera, and film and TV reviews.

Thornton Leigh Hunt was the first editor of the British daily broadsheet newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

In 1875, he was made Minister Resident to Portugal and, since this was the first instance of this kind of promotion in US diplomatic history, some regard him as the first American career diplomat. [4] When the office of Minister Resident was discontinued in 1876, Moran was made Chargé d'Affaires at Lisbon, serving until 1882 when ill health forced him to resign and return to England. He never went back to the US, settling, instead, at Braintree in Essex, where he died at nearby Bocking Hall. [5]

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Lisbon Capital city in Lisbon metropolitan area, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. With an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live in the Lisbon metropolitan area, including the Portuguese Riviera,. It is mainland Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost portions of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains.

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  1. Jackson Lears, Divinely Ordained, London Review of Books, 33(10), 19 May 2011
  2. Benjamin Moran, The Journal of Benjamin Moran, 1857-1865, vols I and II, edited by Sarah Agnes Wallace and Frances Elma Gillespie, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948
  3. Fulton, Richard (Winter 1991). "The "Spectator" in Alien Hands". Victorian Periodicals Review. The Johns Hopkins University Press on behalf of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. 24 (4): 187–196. JSTOR   20082560.(subscription required)
  4. MORAN, BENJAMIN. The Journal of Benjamin Moran, 1857-1865. Vols. I and II. Edited by Sarah Agnes Wallace and Frances Elma Gillespie. Vol. I, pp. xxxiv, 812. Vol. II, pp. xx, 813-1489., Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 266(1) 232-233, November 1949
  5. Benjamin Moran's Journal Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine , accessed 17 May 2011

Further reading

Moran, Benjamin (1853) The Footpath and Highway: Or, Wanderings of an American in Great Britain, in 1851 and ’52, Lippincott, Grambo & Co.

Internet Archive US non-profit organization founded in 1996 in San Francisco by Brewster Kahle

The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and millions of public-domain books. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet.