RYAN, Abram Joseph, poet-priest, was born in Norfolk, Va., Aug. 15, 1839. He was ordained a R.C. priest in 1861, and served as chaplain in the Confederate army, 1861-65. He became priest in the archdiocese of New Orleans, La., in 1865, where he edited the Star, a Roman Catholic weekly; was transferred to Knoxville, Tenn., and subsequently to Augusta, Ga., where he founded and edited the Banner of the South, a political and religious weekly. He was pastor of St. Mary's church in Mobile, Ala., 1868-80, traveling and lecturing to raise money for the cathedral in Mobile; and in 1880 removed to Baltimore, Md., with the intention of making a lecture tour. He delivered his first lecture: "Some Aspects of Modern Civilization " in Baltimore, and in return for the hospitality he had enjoyed at Loyola college gave $300, the proceeds of a public reading, to the Jesuit fathers to found a medal for poetry in the college. His lecture tour not proving successful, and being in feeble health he received permission to retire from all parochial duty in October, 1881 ; settled in Biloxi, Miss., and devoted himself to literary work. He is the author of: Poems, Patriotic, Religious and Miscellaneous (1880), including: The Conquered Banner; The Lost Cause; The Sword of Lee; The Flag of Erin, poems; the epic, Their Story Runneth Thus, and at the time of his death he had in preparation a Life of Christ. He died in Louisville, Ky., April 22, 1886.
SOURCE: Rossiter Johnson & John Howard Brown, Editors, The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Volume IX, Section 5 (there are no page numbers).