Thursday, December 13, 2007
Today's Washington Post contains a followup article about the recent discovery of a potentially "new" photo of Abraham Lincoln taken at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863. As I posted in this blog on November 16 of this year, John Richter, a longtime collector of Civil War photos, was examining various photos on the Library of Congress website when he thought he noticed something "suspicious" in the background of a crowd scene taken at Gettysburg on the day of the dedication of the cemetery. After enlarging the photo 60 times, the new image of "Lincoln" popped out.
The new photograph (actually a series of two or three of them) was presented at last month's Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, an annual gathering of Lincoln historians. The prominent Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer firmly believes that this new image is indeed that of Lincoln, but states that he would love to shout "turn around!" to be sure. However, not everyone in the audience was as convinced. The only other known photo of Lincoln taken that day at Gettysburg shows another man wearing a full beard and stovepipe hat standing next to Lincoln on the presenters' stand. Some people have suggested the figure in that photo is the same gentleman in the "new" photo. My personal opinion (and hope) is that this new photo does indeed show Lincoln. To my eyes, at least, the man's slender build is proof enough for me. The gentleman in the known photo appears to be much bulkier than the one in the "new" one.
We will probably never know for sure. If this photo is indeed a new one of Lincoln, it would be one of only about 125 known photos of the 16th president.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 8:54 AM