April 5, 2007

Hello, And Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to my blog. I’m glad you found it!

I have been a fan of Abraham Lincoln since I was a child. Growing up in Illinois, Lincoln is a central figure in our upbringing. After all, we Illinoisans still celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12th, rather than lumping him together with all the other presidents on Presidents Day. Since then I have read numerous books about Lincoln. There’s an old saying that you should never get to know your heroes, since you’ll only be disappointed. But with Lincoln, the exact opposite is true. The more you get to know him, the more you realize what a great man, a great president, and a great American he was.

My fascination with Lincoln brings with it a fascination with his image, as captured by contemporary photographers. Since photography was then in its infancy, most of the existing photographs of Lincoln are “official” portraits taken by professional portrait photographers. Photo technique being what it was then, there are only a handful of photos of Lincoln taken outside the studio. Professional researchers and historians have determined there are around 130 existing photographs of Lincoln, from the first existing photo taken in 1846 to one taken a few weeks before he was assassinated (plus two known photographs that show his body at rest after his death).

My goal here is to present as many of the existing Lincoln photographs that I can find, with as much background information that I can provide. Since I’m only an amateur historian, I doubt I’ll provide any information or images that are new to academics and professionals. What I hope to do, however, is to provide amateurs and others who are interested with a glimpse into the life of America’s Greatest President.

At some point I’ll provide a list of the best Lincoln web sites, especially those that relate to photographs and images of the president. In the mean time, here is a list of books that proved invaluable to me in conducting my research:

-- Lincoln’s Photographs, by Lloyd Ostendorf
-- The Face of Lincoln, by James Mellon
-- Abraham Lincoln in Print and Photograph, by Cecil K. Byrd and Ward W. Moore
-- Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography, by Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, Peter W. Kunhardt
-- Lincoln: A Picture Story of His Life, by Stefan Lorant

I hope you enjoy this blog. Many thanks for visiting, and please come back often as I add photographs to this site. In the mean time, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to provide any additional information.

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