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Albert G. Lawrence
Albert G Lawrence.png
Gen. Albert Gallatin Lawrence, ca. 1865
United States Minister
to Costa Rica
In office
January 18, 1867 – June 24, 1868
President Andrew Johnson
Preceded by Charles N. Riotte
Succeeded by Jacob Beeson Blair
Personal details
Albert Gallatin Lawrence

(1836-04-14)April 14, 1836
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 1, 1887(1887-01-01) (aged 50)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Eveline McLean Taylor Kingsbury
(m. 1865; div. 1879)
Children 1
Parent(s) William Beach Lawrence
Esther Rogers Gracie
Alma mater Harvard College
Harvard Law School
Known for "Hero of Fort Fisher"
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Commands 2nd Regiment Cavalry U.S. Colored Troops
Battles/wars American Civil War:
 • 2nd Battle of Fort Fisher

Albert Gallatin Lawrence (April 14, 1836 – January 1, 1887) was an American diplomat and soldier.

Early life

Lawrence was born on April 14, 1836 in New York City. He was the son of Esther Rogers Gracie (1801–1857) and William Beach Lawrence (1800–1881), who served as lieutenant governor, and acting Governor, of Rhode Island.

His siblings included William Lawrence, Isaac Lawrence, Esther Gracie Lawrence, who was married to Dr. W. L. Wheeler and, later, Count Felix von Voss-Giewitz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Cornelia Beach Lawrence, who married Baron von Klenck, and James Gracie King Lawrence, who married Catherine Augusta Le Roy.

His paternal grandparents were Isaac Lawrence (1768–1841) and Cornelia Ann (née Beach) Lawrence (1777–1857). His maternal grandparents were Esther (née Rogers) Gracie and Archibald Gracie (1755–1829), a Scottish-born shipping magnate and early American businessman and merchant in New York City.


Capture of Fort Fisher
Assault of the fort during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher

He was educated at Harvard College, and studied law at Harvard Law School, receiving his diploma as a lawyer in 1858.

Lawrence, who did not practice law, then served as the attaché for the United States at Vienna after he turned down the position of Secretary of the American Legation at Vienna.

Military career

At the start of the U.S. Civil War, he returned to serve in the Union Army and was commissioned a Captain in the 54th New York Volunteer Infantry. In 1864, he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and commanded the 2nd Regiment Cavalry U.S. Colored Troops in actions through Virginia.

On August January 15, 1865, he led the assault on Fort Fisher in Virginia, which captured the Confederate post for the Union. In the battle, he was severely wounded and lost his left arm. For his gallantry in the battle of Fort Fisher, he was brevetted Brigadier-General of the U.S. Volunteers on March 25, 1865. He was called the "Hero of Fort Fisher."

Diplomatic service

On October 2, 1866, he was appointed by President Andrew Johnson as the United States Minister to Costa Rica. He presented his credentials on January 18, 1867 and served until his recall, around June 24, 1868. During a visit to Washington, he engaged in a duel, fought in Belgium with Hon. Amédée Van den Nest, the former attaché of the Prussian legation, over words exchanged with Lawrence's wife in letters between Van den Nest and Eva. The subsequent sensation caused Van den Nest to lose his position, forced Lawrence to resign his post, and effectively ended the marriage of Albert and Eva. Eva and Van den Nest later married.

In 1880, Lawrence became a Republican and came out in favor of James A. Garfield and Chester Arthur in the presidential race of 1880. In his editorial, The New York Times stated that his endorsement meant that "The Democrats are mortified at the spectacle of a son of the sage of Ochre Point coming out so publicly for Garfield and Arthur."

Personal life

In September 1865, Lawrence was married to Eveline McLean "Eva" (née Taylor) Kingsbury (1845–1917), youngest daughter of Gen. Joseph Pannell Taylor and niece of the 12th U.S. President Zachary Taylor. She was the widow of Capt. Henry Walter Kingsbury of Chicago who was killed at the Battle of Antietam and was heir to the vast estate of Major Kingsbury. Before their public divorce in 1879, they were the parents of:

  • Esther Gracie Lawrence (b. 1872)

Lawrence died at the Everett House in New York City on January 1, 1887. After a service at St. Mark's Church on Stuyvesant Street, he was buried at the Lawrence burying grounds in Astoria, Queens. His daughter inherited his estate, which was very small, and a share of her grandfather's estate, which was quite vast.

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