Alexander Hesler (Springfield, Illinois): Abraham Lincoln

Albumen print, 6.5 x 8.5 inches, 1860

One of three photographs taken by Hesler during a sitting June 3, while Lincoln was campaigning for the presidency. Of these portraits Lincoln said, "That looks better and expresses me better than any I have ever seen; if it pleases the people I am satisfied."

Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon, was more specific about this noble pose: "There is a peculiar curve of the lower lip, the lone mole on the right cheek, and a pose of the head so essentially Lincolnian; no other artist has ever caught it."

This print was made late in the nineteenth century by George B. Ayres. The negative for this image survives in the Smithsonian Institution, although it is now shattered.


Reference: Charles Hamilton and Lloyd Ostendorf: Lincoln in Photographs (1985)

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