Post Reply 
Thomas Lincoln
07-15-2019, 03:47 AM
Post: #13
RE: Thomas Lincoln
(07-14-2019 05:39 PM)Steve Wrote:  If this is Thomas Lincoln, then he would have had his hair dyed since he would've been in his early 70's when this photograph was taken. I also think the looser-fitting jacket, especially the sleeves, might indicate the photo was taken later in the 1850's after Thomas had died. Though, I don't know if Thomas Lincoln, living in rural Illinois, would be following the fashionable tighter-fitting jackets of the late 1840's - especially if they weren't as comfortable.

Steve, IMO, the provenance is certainly not 100% conclusive. The story goes --> During the Civil War a relative of Thomas Lincoln approached O.V. Flora, a soldier from Ohio who was stationed in Illinois, with an offer to sell him a photo of Thomas Lincoln. The relative told Flora the photo was genuine and he needed the money badly and was willing to sell it. Under the photo was written "Thomas Lincoln. Born 1778 Died 1851." The exact date and nature of the transaction is unknown. R. Gerald McMurtry researched Flora and found that Flora was indeed assigned (for a short time) to service in Charleston, Illinois, only a few miles from Thomas Lincoln's home.

I would assume the image was taken c.1845 - c.1850 because Thomas Lincoln died very early in 1851. Was there a daguerreotypist in Charleston at that time? McMurtry found one as early as 1854, but this would have to be earlier for Thomas Lincoln to have posed. I also wonder why the family of O.V. Flora never contacted Robert Lincoln about what they said they had in their possession. In 1918 Robert Lincoln said he "never heard of any picture of my grandfather."

The photo eventually ended up in the hands of Flora's daughter, Mrs. E.J. Shafer of Franklin, Indiana. In 1932 she loaned the photo out for display in Ft. Wayne. In 1933 McMurtry got her permission to publish the photo in Kentucky Progress magazine.

Although scholars disagree on the photo's authenticity, Charles Hamilton and Lloyd Ostendorf wrote, "Many scholars doubt its authenticity, but the rugged, angular features of the subject, so dramatically Lincolnesque, match contemporary descriptions of Thomas Lincoln." McMurtry speculated that the family member who sold the photo to Flora was probably "a member of the Johnston family, a descendant of Sarah Bush, the second wife of Thomas Lincoln."

In writing about the image Michael Lynch notes, "To argue that someone defrauded O.V. Flora requires a forger who successfully pulled some difficult and improbable stunts: locating a suitable picture to match Thomas Lincoln's appearance, discovering the correct dates, and passing himself off as a Lincoln relative in a community near where the family lived."

Lynch's conclusion: "Perhaps someone scammed Flora, and many Lincoln students through him. But the simplest explanation is usually the most likely. In this case, the simplest explanation is that O.V. Flora stumbled across a genuine historical treasure. The eyes that gaze back at us from this photograph are probably the same eyes that watched Abraham Lincoln crawl, play, work, study, and finally turn his back and walk away at age twenty-one."

There is more information in Mr. Lynch's article on the image in the Winter 2008 Lincoln Herald.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Messages In This Thread
Thomas Lincoln - Susan Higginbotham - 07-13-2019, 10:43 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Gene C - 07-13-2019, 09:42 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-13-2019, 11:27 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 07-14-2019, 04:27 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Gene C - 07-14-2019, 06:15 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - LincolnMan - 07-14-2019, 06:33 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 07-14-2019, 07:58 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Susan Higginbotham - 07-14-2019, 08:55 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-14-2019, 03:56 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-14-2019, 04:31 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 07-14-2019, 05:25 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-14-2019, 05:39 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 07-15-2019 03:47 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - LincolnMan - 07-15-2019, 01:38 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - mbgross - 07-17-2019, 12:27 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-15-2019, 04:39 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 07-16-2019, 04:36 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - LincolnMan - 07-17-2019, 11:44 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - STS Lincolnite - 07-16-2019, 03:51 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Eva Elisabeth - 07-16-2019, 04:29 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-16-2019, 10:42 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Eva Elisabeth - 07-17-2019, 02:52 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-17-2019, 01:10 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 07-17-2019, 04:29 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 07-17-2019, 04:30 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-18-2019, 05:11 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-19-2019, 01:36 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 07-19-2019, 03:56 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Steve - 07-19-2019, 10:58 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Susan Higginbotham - 07-19-2019, 11:10 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Susan Higginbotham - 08-24-2019, 06:47 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Gene C - 08-25-2019, 06:36 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Susan Higginbotham - 08-25-2019, 11:36 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - Gene C - 08-25-2019, 03:52 PM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - RJNorton - 02-22-2020, 05:22 AM
RE: Thomas Lincoln - STS Lincolnite - 02-22-2020, 06:19 PM

Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)