Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Photography figured prominently in Abraham Lincoln’s life. The 200th anniversary of his birth offers a fitting occasion to enjoy treasured portraits from the Library of Congress collections.

Curator of photography Carol Johnson has selected images that let you see how Lincoln looked over 20 years—from the earliest known photographic likeness in 1846, through the U.S. presidential campaign of 1860, and the pressures of the Civil War years. Views from Lincoln’s funeral in 1865 and portraits of his immediate family are also included.

Born on February 12, 1809, Lincoln lived in the era when photography was introduced to the world and then became a mass communication tool. Lincoln was the first U.S. presidential candidate to tap the new technology frequently and has been called the most photographed man of his day.

Look at more Lincoln images?
• Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, recently digitized Lincoln images.

Learn more about historic photos?
You can read about daguerreotypes and the other kinds of photos in this set at “Popular Photographic Print Processes,” www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/589_intro.html.

Dive deeper through books?
• Freedman, Russell. Lincoln: A Photobiography. New York: Clarion Books, 1987. 150 pages. (Written for young people, this Newbery Medal book is a visually rich introduction to Lincoln’s life for anyone.)

• Mellon, James. The Face of Lincoln. New York: Viking Press, 1979. 201 pages. (A large-format book with beautifully reproduced photos paired with "Lincoln’s written and spoken words interspersed with eyewitness descriptions of the man.”)

• Ostendorf, Lloyd. Lincoln’s Photographs: A Complete Album. Dayton, OH: Rockywood Press, 1998. 437 pages. (Detailed descriptions of all known portraits. The primary source for the info in the photo descriptions from the Library of Congress.)
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