In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln stirred the soul of an embattled nation with the famous speech he delivered in Gettysburg, Pa. And now, 150 years later, Lincoln has again aroused passions by appearing in a stereoscopic photograph taken on the day of the Gettysburg Address.
But is Abe Lincoln really in the photo? And, if so, which of two images of a bearded man in a black stovepipe hat is Lincoln? These questions have set off a dustup in the normally staid world of archival photography, according to Smithsonian magazine.
Six years ago, John Richter, an amateur historian and director of the Center for Civil War Photography, magnified a stereograph taken by photographer Alexander Gardner on the day of Lincoln’s now-famous Gettysburg speech. Richter identified a tall figure on horseback, wearing a stovepipe hat and saluting the troops, as the 16th U.S. president. Read more.
Exploratory excavations at the home site of Abraham Lincoln’s neighbor and Underground Railroad conductor Jameson Jenkins have uncovered a corner pier of Jenkins’ house.
The archaeological testing — a joint project of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Illinois State Museum — also uncovered some window glass and artifacts related to Jenkins.
“But the corner pier is what we were really looking for,” said Tim Townsend, historian at the Lincoln Home. “It was about four feet down and tells us there is something left of Jenkins’ house.”
“Ultimately, I think it will tell us there are remains still there that are worthy of more excavation,” he said. Read more.
Before President Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest, a train carried his body on a two-week funeral procession across the Northern U.S. states in 1865. Mourners from New York to Illinois gathered to see the train and pay their final respects, but despite drawing millions of spectators, one detail of the much-publicized event was thought to have been lost to history: The color of the president’s railcar.
Now, in a case of historical sleuthing, Wayne Wesolowski, a chemist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, has put together the missing piece of the puzzle.
By analyzing tiny paint chips from one of only a few surviving artifacts from the trains, Wesolowski discovered that the true color of the historic railcar was a brownish-red color that he describes as “dark maroon.” Read more.
The reports details how Leale found Lincoln paralysed, comatose and leaning against his wife.
The Army surgeon, who sat 40 feet from Lincoln at Ford’s Theater that night in April 1865, saw assassin John Wilkes Booth jump to the stage, brandishing a dagger. Thinking Lincoln had been stabbed, Leale pushed his way to the victim but found a different injury.
"I commenced to examine his head (as no wound near the shoulder was found) and soon passed my fingers over a large firm clot of blood situated about one inch below the superior curved line of the occipital bone," Leale reported. Read more.