Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland
Photographer of the American Civil War and of the American West during the latter part of the 19th century. Emigrated in 1856, settled in New York. Worked for Matthew Brady in NY and Washington until 1862 or 1863. When the American Civil War erupted, Gardner assisted Brady in his effort to create a complete photographic record of the conflict. However, Brady refused to give Gardner public credit for his work. Therefore, Gardner left Brady in 1863, opened a portrait gallery in Washington, and continued to photograph the war on his own. His images "President Lincoln on the Battlefield of Antietam" (1862) and "Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, Gettysburg" (1863) as well as his portraits of Abraham Lincoln are among the best known photographs of the Civil War. His "Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War" a two-volume collection of 100 original prints, was published in 1866. Became official photographer for Union Pacific Railroad. Primarily active in Kansas. Photographed the building of the railroad and new settlements that grew up near it. He also compiled valuable photographic documentation of the Indians of the Great Plains. Returning to Washington, he gradually lost interest in photography and devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy.