Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ELY, Alfred, lawyer, born in Lyme, New London County, Connecticut, 18 February 1815. He received an academic education, removed to Rochester, New York, in 1835, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1841, and began practice in Rochester. Mr. Ely was elected to congress as a Republican in 1858, and served from 5 December 1859, till 3 March 1863. He went as a civilian spectator to the battlefield of Bull Run in July 1861, where he was captured by the Confederates and put into Libby prison, Richmond. After nearly six months' confinement he was exchanged for Charles J. Faulkner, the American minister to France, who had been imprisoned for disloyalty. During his term of imprisonment he kept a diary, which was edited by Charles Lanman, with the title "Journal of Alfred Ely, a Prisoner of War in Richmond " (New York, 1862).
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