Dufresne was born and died in Berlin. His grave is located in the Jewish Cemetery Berlin-Weißensee.
Dufresne was an unsuccessful novelist under the anagrammaticpseudonym E. S. Freund, but wrote several chess books, one of which, Kleines Lehrbuch des Schachspiels (1881, known in Germany as Der Kleine Dufresne) ran to many editions and taught several generations of players. In a letter to Paul Dirac at the end of 1929, Werner Heisenberg deemed Dufresne's handbook "the best book about theory of Chess". He also wrote a popular book on Paul Morphy.
Dufresne took first in the Berliner Schachgesellschaft in 1853 and won an 1854 match against Carl Mayet (+7−5), a member of the Berlin Pleiades. Although he had a negative record against Anderssen, he had a plus record against Daniel Harrwitz, who in turn had a plus record against Anderssen. Here is his win against Harrwitz in Berlin in 1848: