Remembering Abraham Lincoln, the most photographed man of his day

February 12, 2015 /Photography News/ Born 206 years ago today, on February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln lived in the era when photography was introduced to the world and then became a mass communication tool. Lincoln was the first U.S. presidential candidate to tap the new technology frequently and has been called the most photographed man of his day. 

The 204th anniversary of his birth offers a fitting occasion to enjoy treasured portraits from the Library of Congress collections. 

Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President. Seated portrait, facing right. Berger, Anthony, b. 1832, photographer. Washington, D.C. : 1864 Feb. 9. An image from this sitting was the basis for the engraved portrait on the five dollar bill.Published in Lincoln's photographs: a complete album / by Lloyd Ostendorf. Dayton, OH: Rockywood Press, 1998, p. 176.
Title devised by Library staff.
Gift, Louis Rabinowitz, 1952.
Forms part of Civil War glass negative collection (Library of Congress).
Lincoln & his secretaries, Nicolay & Hay. Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer. Washington, D.C., 1863, ©1884. Photo shows President Abraham Lincoln seated between his private secretaries John G. Nicolay and John Hay at a photo session in Alexander Gardner's studio in Washington, D.C., on November 8, 1863."On this day John Hay wrote in his diary: 'Went with Mrs. Ames to Gardner's Gallery & were soon joined by Nico (John G. Nicolay) and the Prest. We had a great many pictures taken ... some of the Prest. the best I have seen. ... Nico & I immortalized ourselves by having ourselves done in a group with the Prest." (Source: Ostendorf, p. 142)
Published in: Lincoln's photographs : a complete album / by Lloyd Ostendorf. Dayton, Ohio : Rockywood Press, 1998, p. 142.
Title from item.
Copyright 1884 March 20, by Dennis Williams, Springfield, Ill.

Inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, March 4, 1861. Washington, D.C., 1861. Photograph shows participants and crowd at the first inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln, at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. Lincoln is standing under the wood canopy, at the front, midway between the left and center posts. His face is in shadow but the white shirt front is visible. (Source: Ostendorf, p. 87)"A distant photograph from a special platform by an unknown photographer, in front of the Capitol, Washington, D.C., afternoon of March 4, 1861. 'A small camera was directly in front of Mr. Lincoln,' reported a newspaper, 'another at a distance of a hundred yards, and a third of huge dimensions on the right ... The three photographers present had plenty of time to take pictures, yet only the distant views have survived." (Source: Ostendorf, p. 86-87)
Published in: Lincoln's photographs: a complete album / by Lloyd Ostendorf. Dayton, OH: Rockywood Press, 1998, p. 86-87.
Title from item.
In album: Benjamin Brown French "Photographs," p. 59.

Abraham Lincoln, candidate for U.S. president. Half-length portrait, seated, facing front. Butler, Preston, photographer. Springfield, Ill., 1860 Aug. 13. Thought to be the last beardless portrait of Lincoln, this photo was "made for the portrait painter, John Henry Brown, noted for his miniatures in ivory. ... 'There are so many hard lines in his face,' wrote Brown in his diary, 'that it becomes a mask to the inner man. His true character only shines out when in an animated conversation, or when telling an amusing tale. ... He is said to be a homely man; I do not think so.'" (Source: Ostendorf, p. 62)Published in: Lincoln's photographs: a complete album / by Lloyd Ostendorf. Dayton, OH: Rockywood Press, 1998, p. 62-63.
Title devised by Library staff.
Gift; A. Conger Goodyear; 1965.
Lincoln's funeral on Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C. : 1865 April 19. Photo shows crowd gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 1865, for the procession of President Abraham Lincoln's hearse from the funeral held at the White House to the U.S. Capitol, where his body lay in state before traveling by train to Springfield, Illinois, for burial.Title and date from information on negative sleeve and Library staff.
Forms part of Brady-Handy Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

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