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The Photos of Lincoln at Gettysburg Under Debate – Which is Lincoln?

27 Sep

Pictures tell the story here and the experts differ on their interpretation of the photographs in determining which figure is Lincoln. There are tantalizing observations supporting why each of their picks for Lincoln, either in one or two of the Alexander Gardner stereoscopic scenes, is more credible. Evidence within the historical record and the context of what can be seen, however, are contrary to Professor Oakley’s position but supportive of Heberton’s. Take a look at the photographic evidence for yourself and then read some of the detailed research Heberton has compiled in support of his findings and compare it with that of animation expert Oakley and the opinions of the Civil War photography experts featured in the October 2013 issue of SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Will-the-Real-Abraham-Lincoln-Please-Stand-Up-224911272.html#the-new-lincoln-photo-1.jpg

01 Gardner1stsphoto 17807uLincolnIDs-1

1st Gardner photo detail: Heberton’s Lincoln boxed in red; position of Oakley’s Lincoln in green; from about a 150 degree angle to the front of the speakers’ platform.

01aGardner1stphotodetail - 17807u-lincoln3-1

Zoomed detail from 1st photo showing Heberton’s Lincoln’s face within shadows cast by brim of his stovepipe hat;
he is on his horse directly in front of the speakers’ platform with a boy appearing to be about 10 years old on the front of his saddle; he is facing away from the platform generally in the direction of a tall eagle finial topped staff; this photo probably depicts a brief solemn ceremony performed upon Lincoln’s arrival within the procession near the front of the platform

17807udetail2ib 17807udetail6 17807u glove2
Detail from 1st Gardner photo shows Lincoln’s outlined face and boxed white gloved hand

02 Gardner2dphoto17806 image 4-1

2nd Gardner photo detail (right stereo): Heberton’s Lincoln boxed in red; Oakley’s in green; both remain in same positions as the 1st Gardner photo

03 Gardner2dphotoleft st crop 07

2nd Gardner photo detail (left stereo): Heberton’s Lincoln boxed in red; Oakley’s in green

02 Gardner2dphoto17806 Image 5

Zoomed detail from 2nd Gardner photo (right stereo) showing “ghost image” possibly of Heberton’s Lincoln’s face in a long exposure photo in which several other people also are represented by multiple images

02 Gardner2dphoto17806

Zoomed detail from 2nd Gardner photo (right stereo) showing “ghost image” possibly of Heberton’s Lincoln’s face in a long exposure photo in which several other people also are represented by multiple images
Direct view of stand

Detail from photo attributed to David Bachrach taken at about a 65 degree angle to speakers platform; Lincoln was discovered seated in the center of the front row of the platform in 1952 with his head tilted to his right; compare positions of several people marked in this photo with their positions marked in detail from the Gardner photos, below:

Oakley vs. Heberton Lincoln Comparison Photo

Comparison of the 1st (above) and 2nd (below) Gardner photos showing the static positioning of several key people, including Oakley’s candidates for Lincoln (boxed in red) and Seward (boxed in yellow) on the extreme far right end of the platform seated behind several men; note particularly the positioning of the Cowlick aide in the Bachrach photo and the Gardner photos to get a sense of the relative perspectives of the two photographers and how out of place Oakley’s Lincoln is to Lincoln’s seating in the Bachrach photo

Experts differ on what these photos reveal and where Lincoln is located.  Can you find him?  Heberton’s research and analysis explains why Oakley’s Lincoln cannot possibly be Lincoln based upon WHERE the professor has located him (about to be seated at the far right end of the platform) in only the 2nd Gardner photo and WHAT Oakley claims he was then doing (climbing steps leading to the lowest level of the platform):

First, go to the Bachrach photo and find Sec. of State Seward and President Lincoln seated in the center of the front row upon the lowest level of the platform. Then within the same photograph find the Cowlick aide (one of Chief Marshal Lamon’s ceremonial aides) — who is facing towards Seward and Lincoln — as well as the Dark hat man (behind the Cowlick aide) and the Beard Man (behind Gov. Tod). From right to left, the people visible in the front row on the speaker’s platform are — Gov. Tod, Gov. Seymour, Gov. Curtin, Gov. Curtin’s son, the Cowlick aide (standing), Judge Casey (another white sashed marshal’s aide who is standing), Provost Marshal General James B. Fry who was Lincoln’s special escort (standing – he probably is a step back from the front row), Edward Everett (standing probably while orating), Lincoln, and Ward Hill Lamon (then occupying the seat for Edward Everett), etc. Notice too where Italian Minister Bertinatti is seated and that he and the men around him are at an odd angle vis-a-vis the three governors in the front row. If this photo detail extended further to the right, you would come to the area where Oakley claims his Seward is seated and his Lincoln will be seated several rows BEHIND the front row. This area is best pinpointed by locating the Cowlick aide particularly in the 1st Gardner photo (with his distinctive cowlick sticking out from the left side of his head like a horn).  His back is to Gardner’s camera in both the 1st and 2nd Gardner photos. Whereas the Cowlick aide faces Lincoln in the Bachrach photo, it clearly can be seen that Oakley’s Lincoln was seated several rows BEHIND the Cowlick aide in the Gardner photos and, therefore, cannot possibly be Lincoln because he should be seated beyond and on the OTHER side of the Cowlick aide. Oakley’s Lincoln and Seward are located nowhere near the real Lincoln and Seward.

Gardner’s first stereo view – aka 652 – (First, second, third, fourth & fifth photos, above):

This detail is from the left stereo, file 17807u.if, at LC’s: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cwpb.00652/

Gardner’s second stereo view – aka 673 – right stereo (sixth, eighth & ninth photos, above):

This detail is from the RIGHT stereo, file 17806a.tif, at LC’s: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.17806/

Gardner’s second stereo view – aka 673 – left stereo (Seventh photo, above):

This is detail from the LEFT stereo, file 04063.tif, at LC’s: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ds.04063/

David Bachrach’s photo (Tenth photo, above):

This detail is from Bachrach’s photo, file 07639.tif, at LC’s: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cwpb.07639/

Comparison between detail in Gardner’s 1st stereo view and his 2nd stereo view (Eleventh photo above):

This detail in the top image is taken from the left stereo of Gardner’s 1st photo, file 17807u.if, at LC’s: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cwpb.00652/

The detail in the bottom image is taken from the left stereo of Gardner’s 2nd photo, file 04063.tif, at LC’s: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ds.04063/

Follow along on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abraham-Lincoln-at-Gettysburg/338089372973741?ref=hlhttps://twitter.com/WMIbooks

The original photographic digital images used in this blog are from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C., Civil War glass negative collection

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2 Responses to “The Photos of Lincoln at Gettysburg Under Debate – Which is Lincoln?”

  1. Charles Sachs January 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    David B. Woodbury “took pictures of the crowd and procession” that he noted to his sister Elisa in a letter near the end on November, 1863. He worked for Brady most of the war.

  2. Kristofer March 26, 2014 at 3:04 am #

    Inspiring story there. What happened after? Good luck!

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