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Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Printable Version

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Is this Abraham Lincoln? - RJNorton - 06-16-2022 09:53 AM

These images were sent to me by a person who wishes to remain anonymous. The person believes this is a photo of Abraham Lincoln. Any opinions?

[Image: Picture2.jpeg]

[Image: Picture1.png]

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Susan Higginbotham - 06-16-2022 12:17 PM

No, in my opinion.

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Steve - 06-16-2022 02:21 PM

I believe Lincoln and the man in the photograph are two different people.

Lincoln didn't start growing his beard until the 1860 Presidential election after receiving a letter from an 11 year-old girl named Grace Bedell urging him to grow a beard. So, if the man was Lincoln, the photo couldn't have been taken prior to 1860. There are many different photos of Lincoln from the 1860's and I don't think the man in this photo resembles the known photos of Lincoln from this time period.

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - AussieMick - 06-17-2022 04:52 AM

There's no mole on the right side of the face. The lower lip is not full enough. The watch chain is hanging from the 'other' side seen in most photos of Lincoln with a watch chain.
The beard? Well he might have grown a beard for a few months, Steve, and shaved it off ... no most unlikely ( Mind you I am aware of some scruffy men that are known to not shave and claim to be growing a beard only to shave a few weeks later ... mentioning no names)

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Gene C - 06-17-2022 07:18 AM

In this recently discovered image, Lincoln's face is not thin enough, in most of his photographs, even as a young man, his cheek bones are more noticeable.

This doesn't mean much but.... I can't recall that when Lincoln sat for a studio photograph, that he had his hat on.

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Wild Bill - 06-17-2022 07:40 AM

I'll go with Aussie Mick, no mole on right side of face. It is not Lincoln

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - RJNorton - 06-17-2022 12:19 PM

Numerous sources I've read over the years indicate Lincoln had a "roving" left eye which is most likely due to vertical strabismus. Although difficult to see in many Lincoln photos, I do not see any indication at all in the image we're discussing. Here's a photo in which the strabismus can be seen:

[Image: 41-zKXPeZSL._AC_.jpg]
Photo by Alexander Gardner, November 8, 1863

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - LincolnMan - 06-21-2022 10:03 AM

The missing mole is a dead giveaway if nothing else.

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - STS Lincolnite - 06-22-2022 02:40 PM

This photograph is obviously of an individual wearing a top hat and a particular style of beard. These are often characteristics associated with Abraham Lincoln.

I will summarize my thoughts (they are much the same as others have previously posted - but much more wordy Big Grin). They are in no particular order.:

1) The shape of the ear (particularly at the attachment of the lobe) does not match with the verified photos of Lincoln. I have posted previously on the usage of this marker in photo identification. It is very important as it is not something that changes over time.

2) Lincoln’s familiar mole is absent in the image in question. This is something very unique to Lincoln and obviously should be present were this Lincoln.

3) The individual in this photo does not exhibit a malpositioning of the left eye that is present in other verified images of Lincoln. 8 November 1863 image (Roger posted in post #7 of this thread) is an example where this malpositioning can be clearly seen.

4) Lincoln also has a slight malpositioning of his jaw (it deviates to the right) that can be seen in Lincoln images taken from the front. Again, in the 8 November 1863 image in post #7, this deviation can be seen in spite of Lincoln’s facial hair. There is no evidence of a like deviation in the image in question.

5) The shape of the eyes and the fullness of Lincoln’s eyebrows in known images clearly differ from the individual in the image in question.

6) From the image posted, there looks to be a case. That is typically indicative of a daguerreotype or ambrotype. Those forms largely fell out of favor (at least for indoor images, which image in question looks to be) by 1860. As Steve mentioned, Lincoln did not start to grow whiskers until late 1860. Lincoln was photographed in late November (25th?) 1860 in Chicago by Samuel Alschuler – his whiskers had just started and in that image were not nearly full. He was photographed again in early 1861 (January and February) by Christopher German, who made albumen prints not ambrotype/daguerreotype. The very small window for Lincoln to be photographed with full beard using the ambrotype/daguerreotype technology makes this being an image of Lincoln unlikely.

This is my initial pass. I’m sure a more robust evaluation would reveal more. And though I have done some photo evaluation in the past, even more would certainly be revealed by a professional photo evaluator or artifact appraiser. To me, this image does not bear any more than a very limited, passing resemblance to Lincoln (and that is only because of the general characteristics of hat and beard). Other than those general characteristics, there is nothing here to suggest this is in fact Abraham Lincoln. For me, any ONE of the above may enough to disqualify this image as Lincoln. But all of them taken together? The answer is pretty clear to me.

The verdict: NOT Abraham Lincoln

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Susan Higginbotham - 06-23-2022 12:34 PM

I see nothing in the photo to suggest that it is not from the 19th century, and nothing in it to suggest that it is Lincoln--only a passing resemblance. Photos like these show the limitations of digital photograph comparison (and of wistful thinking).

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Xristobal - 06-23-2022 06:53 PM

I am the anonymous— I more. My name is Chris Tarr. I appreciate all of your feedback and thank you very much, Roger, for posting the images.

A little about me—
I have no social media account’s, so this forum is my first. Thank you Roger for allowing me to join. I am high functioning autistic, severely color deficient and have become obsessed with early photographic process history. My Wife and I have two beautiful children (9 & 14) and we operate a pediatric therapy (OT, PT & ST) services business in the Denver region. My area of study is within archeology, although the nomadic lifestyle did not function with a marriage and then a family. I have studied and been fortunate enough to practice archeological methods and principles nearly all of my formative years growing up near Mesa Verde National Park and having seasonal archeologist teachers and classes elementary through college.

We are currently at a point within imagery technology and forensic analyzation’s that will soon be shown some mind blowing discoveries, reveal history and will solve many mysteries. For now we are stuck with the archaic practice with attempts to compare ears of altering angles, differing head position, (we will learn) many retouches & various lighting aspect differentials that affect proper comparison. Currently moles, warts, beards, hats allow dirt to be thrown upon our sacred history. This practice, although currently what we have, is not a great measure to identify a sitter within a photograph. Soon, this will no longer occur as a methodology using various tools will allow for each photo to offer empirical scientific evidence that was left by studio artisans and photographers whom applied pre-plate and post fixing evidences that will allow all daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, ferrotype’s and colloidal negatives to be identified. That’s right, ALL EARLY POSITIVE IMAGES HAVE EMPIRICAL SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO ALLOW FOR THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE SITTER AND SUBJECTS, within each image. This will be the truest of the definition of provenance as it pertains to the origin and creation of these images, prior to leaving the studio. The record of ownership may enhance its story but will not be allowed to eliminate our history any longer.

It appears our eyes fail is when analyzing faces and ears and the main proponent within this current scenario is due to age and health atrophy, likely due to blue mass pills affecting the eyes causing drooping, most organs and the nervous system. It is also appears apparent that Lincoln had a full or near full molar extraction which had drawn in his cheeks. These are speculative, but the age difference is also a factor. My archaic comparisons show comparison’s to an 1858 portrait, while this daguerreotype of Lincoln is an 1852 copy that was re-daguerreotyped using a Meade Brothers application upon the copy called the “Rembrandt Style”. This application was applied to copies and was done within the plate preparation phase, to allow a face to be brightened and softened. The original daguerreotype that it was copied from was likely taken between the years of 1845 and 1852. This dag shows Lincoln at a younger fuller faced and healthy version of Lincoln that our eyes have difficulty recognizing. The only research I found that does not align is how Lincoln had written the letter to the little girl stating that he hadn’t had whiskers. Apparently, he did and one can only imagine that Lincoln was trying to make her feel special in her advisement. We know he was a sweet, good hearted man and any embellishment of Honest Abe’s pen would only be done to create happiness.

My method will give no doubts that it is indeed Lincoln and this method has been practiced for over two years now with identified and unidentified images.

Purported images such as Albert Kaplan’s Lincoln will now have a method to discover the evidence supports truth or falsehood to this assertion. My findings will show that Kaplan’s young Lincoln Dag is ironically a young William Henry Seward portrayed by NYC Daguerreotypist Anson. It is not Lincoln and this one I sent Roger is.

I will be meeting with photo process historians for peer evaluation and soon after the methodolgy will be submitted for provisional patent protection. Truth is— you’ll all be able to use it to identify photos on your own, but, I must ensure that ancestry or other institutions will not prosper from my own discovery. It’s astounding and I cannot wait to show those whom wish to learn this method.

Harold Holzer once said, Regarding Lincoln’s face (above) within the 1846(-1848) Shepherd LOC daguerrotype:

I'm always surprised that people think people will age the way they do in movies…but, faces really change -- noses droop, things sag, a lot can happen… the Library of Congress's (Shepherd) daguerreotype was originally doubted, too, requiring Lincoln's son Robert to authenticate it three times. [A Young Mr. Lincoln? Auction May Shed Light. Judith H. Dobrzynski. New York Times. 1998]

Thank you all for your feedback and for reading this.


Hi Susan! I am a person. I have feelings and do not have time for wistful thinking nor reckless history detractors. I am not in need of money and fear the scale of the potential monetary consequences and social aspects of this discovery. i am not programmed for this, but felt it was important to show someone I understand your thoughts and did not think it was Lincoln upon first viewing it either. I get it. I do like the odd fellows pin, don’t like the beard and hate the stereotypical hat and beard together, but, it’s an amazing photo of Abraham Lincoln. Try looking at it to prove it rather than disprove… positivity is enlightening! Chris

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - AussieMick - 06-24-2022 07:32 AM

Hi Chris. Good to read a detailed, challenging, opinion from a new member.

But I'll wait to be convinced by the "mind-blowing discoveries" of which you write ... because at the moment I dont believe this is an image of Lincoln. Apart from what has already been said, I find the hat to be very ... well, strange. For a start, even though it is on the person's head, it doesnt look (to me) like a hat.

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - RJNorton - 06-24-2022 12:24 PM

Chris sent some additional images. Here they are:

[Image: Picture3.jpg]

[Image: Picture4.jpg]

[Image: Picture5.jpg]

[Image: Picture6.jpg]

RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Rob Wick - 06-24-2022 01:35 PM

I'm curious. How many studio photos of Lincoln show him wearing a hat? My copy of Ostendorft is not readily available to me now, but the only photo of Lincoln wearing a hat that I can remember is the photo of him in the field with McClellan. I can't think of one in the studio that shows him in a hat.

And, with all due respect, the reasoning about Lincoln not wanting to hurt the feelings of Grace Befell is exceptionally weak.

Welcome to the forum, Chris.


RE: Is this Abraham Lincoln? - Gene C - 06-25-2022 08:13 AM

In this second image of the photo's in question, and the close up images of his right hand, the subject is wearing a ring.

Any photographs of Lincoln wearing a ring, or record of Lincoln wearing a ring?
According to this in the Historical Marker Data Base Mary had an engraved wedding ring, but Lincoln did not.