Tag Archives: Lincoln

“The Civil War” by Ken Burns: A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM

11 Sep

“The Civil War’s” Episode #5 — “The Universe of Battle – 1863” — is about 1.5 hours long. It begins with the image of a famous photograph by Mathew B. Brady and his team taken in Gettysburg about 10-14 days after the battle’s end.  While showing this picture of three captured (or deserter) Confederate soldiers posing for Brady as if they were paid professionals, Shelby Foote lyrically emotes: “there’s something about that picture that draws me strongly as an image of the war.” Mr. Foote reveals that his fondness comes from his interpretation of the body language of one of the soldiers as that of proud defiance.

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Crammed into the final 6 minutes of the end of that episode is a segment Ken Burns titled “A New Birth of Freedom.”

Despite this segment’s short treatment of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, that particular title has evolved over time into one of the most important themes of the entire movie. Burns has repeated it over and over again in dozens upon dozens of interviews during the last 25 years in order to explain the modern relevancy of both “The Civil War” and the conflict itself.

The opening scene in “A New Birth of Freedom” is video footage of former Missouri Congressman James W. Symington eloquently reflecting that if he:

had a choice of all the moments he could be present at during [the] war period it would be at Gettysburg during Lincoln’s delivery of his speech. Maybe to have seen him craft those beautiful words, those marvelous healing words, and then deliver them. They were for everyone, for all time. They subsumed the entire war and all in it. It showed his compassion for everyone. His love for his people. That’s where I’d like to be.”

I remember watching this 25 years ago and saying out loud to no one in particular: “that, too, is where I would want to be.”

After Symington finishes, David McCullough narrates: “On November 19th, Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to dedicate the new Union cemetery.”

Oops, a blooper! Lincoln actually traveled to Gettysburg on the 18th and we as a nation are very lucky he did.

Had Lincoln left Washington, D.C. on the morning of the 19th, as Secretary of War Stanton had planned, Lincoln never would have arrived at Gettysburg on time. Yet even if he had been delivered there by divine intervention, Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” would have been very different. Lincoln wouldn’t have rewritten a portion of his speech at David Wills’ home on the night of the 18th or visited a portion of the battlefield by carriage very early on the morning of the 19th, after which he possibly added the last several critical lines of his Address … including the words “a new birth of freedom.”

There also would have been no serenading of Lincoln by the crowds in Gettysburg on the night of the 18th, resulting in Lincoln’s “First” Gettysburg Address. In that very short public address, Lincoln stood by an open doorway and joked that he had no speech to give and therefore, based upon past experience, would not give any. It was this address which many Northern Democrat-owned and Southern newspapers alike reported as Lincoln’s ONE & ONLY Gettysburg Address — for which they mocked Lincoln derisively.

About a minute and half into “A New Birth of Freedom,” we come face-to-face with the print of a very famous photograph. Burns then focuses our attention exclusively on that photo over the next 66 seconds (a capture of the second shot of it from the remastered film in HD, below).

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It is a photo which was taken at the sight of the dedication of Gettysburg’s Soldiers’ Cemetery. And it’s original negative, sadly, has been lost to history. Of greatest importance is that it is the only Gettysburg photograph which is universally agreed to show Lincoln [to read about another which may also show Lincoln, click this link]. Yet Lincoln’s appearance within it wasn’t announced until February 11, 1953 after Josephine Cobb of the National Archives tentatively identified Lincoln. A consensus was reached over time that it is him.

Ken Burns used this photograph in three separate and consecutive shots. In the first, he zoomed in on detail to the left, revealing some of the soldiers standing in a hollow square formation. They are turned to face towards the camera and strike a pose (the same detail from an image courtesy of the Library of Congress, at right).

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The second frame shows the entire photograph, giving some sense of the scale of the event (but not its full scope) and the distance the photographers were set up from the speakers’ platform and the crowds jammed around Lincoln and others. In its third usage, Burns filmed a very tight shot of an area on the speaker’s platform and had his camera zoom in towards the face of Abraham Lincoln. Here is a capture of Burn’s tightest shot from the remastered film in HD available at www.pbs.org, placed side-by-side with detail from a Library of Congress scan (at right).

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David McCullough narrates the following during the minute plus airing of this photo:

Then Lincoln rose. A local photographer took his time focusing. Presumably the President could be counted on to go for a while. But he spoke just 269 words … Lincoln was heading back to his seat before the photographer could open the shutter.

Just a small faux pas here because the camera those men used was not equipped with a shutter. Rather, an exposure was created simply by removing and replacing a cap over the lens. Crude home-made drop shutter lenses were then a great rarity.

The story Mr. McCullough described is a combination of two accounts published more than 30 years after the event. Those accounts spoke to the presence of a photographer right in front of the platform who failed to take a picture of Lincoln while he stood and spoke. To be clear, neither those accounts nor Mr. McCullough’s narration relate in any way to this photograph.

It was first deduced by William A. Frassanito, to my knowledge, that the photographers who took this image in which Lincoln is discernible were David Bachrach of Baltimore and an undentified cameraman from Harper’s Weekly. I firmly believe that those men might be seen together within detail from a different photograph taken on the grounds of the Gettysburg Soldiers’ Cemetery on November 19, 1863 (see below, courtesy of the Library of Congress). One can be made out (through the limbs of a tree) seated atop a tall folding ladder. He is peering through his camera with his left arm extended while the other man stands near him with a portable darkroom on a tripod. If these men are not Bachrach and the Harper’s Weekly photographer, then they are likely David Woodbury and Anthony Berger (two Mathew Brady photographers). They were first pointed out and described in the book Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg” For more about them, click here for the article “Finding Photographers and Their Equipment in Gettysburg Soldiers’ Cemetery Photos.”

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Bachrach wrote in 1916 that “I took the portable dark-room and [went to Gettysburg], and did the technical work of photographing the crowd, not with the best result while Mr. Everett was speaking.” That is exactly what the photograph used by Ken Burns and showing Lincoln depicts: Edward Everett standing and speaking (see him in blurred detail, below at left).

07639u_BachrachMr. Bachrach made no mention of attempting to photograph Lincoln while he spoke or even after he returned to his seat. It is logical that he would have mentioned it had he done so.

If you wonder what Lincoln was doing the moment he was photographed, take a look at the following and click “Addressing What Lincoln is Doing While Seated on the Platform at Gettysburg.”

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Fell free to share with me what you think.

There’s something about that picture that draws me strongly as an image of the Civil War!

Craig Heberton, September 10, 2015

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Heberton’s Lincoln: The Case

21 Nov

WHERE ARE THE CANDIDATES FOR LINCOLN?

To provide the necessary perspective, take a look at what the Library of Congress (LC)  refers to as the stereo view from the left side of the negative for the first-in-time Gardner photo (first sequenced by Craig Heberton). It is marked (below) to illustrate key landmarks as well as, from left to right, the locations of John J. Richter’s Lincoln, Craig Heberton’s Lincoln, and Christopher Oakley’s Lincoln. This illustrates how far Gardner felt compelled to set up his photographic platform or ladder from the hollow square of foot soldiers in order to be able to “see” over those infantrymen, the soldiers and aides on horseback, and the thousands of spectators standing on higher ground.

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WHY WAS LINCOLN PHOTOGRAPHED AT A DISTANCE?

The fact that all known photographs depicting the Soldiers’ Cemetery and Evergreen Cemetery grounds on November 19, 1863 were taken outside the hollow square of soldiers illustrates two points. First, it would have been difficult for wet-plate photographers to set up their necessary equipment near a portable darkroom inside the hollow square because: (a) the darkroom had to be near the camera to allow for both the preparation and development of glass photographic plates within the darkroom near the time of their use, (b) the darkroom, the wet-plate chemicals, and the photographic platform couldn’t be placed where they would be in danger of being knocked over, trampled upon, or the plates otherwise might be ruined or diminished in quality, (c) to get inside the hollow square, the photographers might have had to march at the tail end of the parade and their equipment would have been transported by horseback in that no wagons can be seen anywhere within the hollow square, and (d) a wet-plate cameramen within the hollow square might have been compelled to place his equipment outside of the packed inner ring of spectators with a potentially worse view of the platform than outside of the hollow square. Second, even assuming that wet-plate photographers could have gained access to the area immediately in front of the speakers’ platform, it has to be asked whether they would have been comfortable placing a portable darkroom near their camera or forced to place it outside the inner ring of spectators at a great distance from and possibly inaccessible to the camera because of the crush of the crowds (described in several accounts)? It seems more likely, as speculated by John J. Richter, that only a dry-plate camera operator could have overcome the many obstacles within the hollow square thanks to the ease-of-use of those plates. In so doing, a dry-plate operator would have sacrificed image quality in exchange for convenience and maneuverability. Dry-plate technology “did not require sensitization and processing of plates while still wet in the field” and “the most important technical contribution by amateurs in [the 1860s] is the effort to develop a dry plate negative process …” John Hannavy, ed., Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, Volume I (2007),  at p. 33The diminished quality of early rudimentary dry-plate technology is the reason why it was used almost exclusively in the 1860s by wealthy men of leisure and/or very technically savvy amateurs. For all of these reasons and more, it can be understood why the wet-plate photographers present at the dedication ceremony in Gettysburg on November 19, 1863 may have been compelled to shoot all or nearly all of their plates atop some form of a photographic platform from the relative safety of the area outside the hollow square. John Richter’s  thoughtful analysis about these considerations, in collaboration with Mr. Heberton, is very helpful in answering why Lincoln was photographed at such a distance.

GAINING PERSPECTIVE

It is difficult at first blush to realize the extent to which the cameras of Gardner and Bachrach were positioned in relatively opposing angles to the speakers’ platform on the cemetery grounds. The marked map, below, allows one to acclimate to those differing views.

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Although the first two Gardner stereoviews were exposed as Lincoln was arriving on horseback and taking part in a reception for him directly in front of the platform, several men observable in the later Bachrach photo (taken when Lincoln was seated and Edward Everett was standing and orating) can be seen upon the platform in the Gardner stereoviews. They were among the many already in position on the rostrum BEFORE Lincoln surmounted steps to join them. The positioning of those men allows for a determination of the different camera angles of each of Gardner and Bachrach and visually “explains” why Professor Oakley’s candidate cannot be correct.

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The area in which Professor Oakley claims that Secretary of State Seward was seated for ten minutes before his candidate for Lincoln arrived to be seated next to him is so very far away from the correct spot in which both Seward and Lincoln actually were seated. The WRONG location is is just one of several reasons why his thesis is fatally flawed.  

A SUMMARY OF WHY OAKLEY’s CANDIDATE FOR LINCOLN IS FLAWED

  • His Lincoln commands no attention from anyone in the crowd — Lincoln was described as “the observed of all observers” when he arrived before the speakers’ platform; Oakley’s Lincoln is the most unobserved of the observed. Men seated and standing on the platform ignore him. No one in the crowd standing on the ground near him doffed their hats in a show of respect, as occurred repeatedly wherever Lincoln appeared in Gettysburg. A review of the Gardner photos shows that the visible crowd is collectively focused upon someone else — not only in the first Gardner stereo view but in the second Gardner photo too. That person, who was the “observed of all observers,” is located in an area nowhere near Oakley’s Seward and Lincoln. This alone undercuts his Lincoln identification.
  • No dignitaries are on their feet preparing to greet his Lincoln as he allegedly prepares to surmount steps while stooped over as if he already is seated.
  • His Lincoln is completely unaccompanied and no one can be seen trailing behind him over a distance of at least forty or fifty yards.
  • William A. Frassanito argued against John Richter’s candidate in 2008 by pointing out that he was unaccompanied by cabinet members Seward, Blair, and Usher — the same argument can be applied against Oakley’s Lincoln whom Oakley says trailed his Seward to the cemetery by 10 minutes (nearly the same amount of time as some say it took Lincoln to ride from the town square to the outskirts of the cemetery). Likewise, Secretaries Usher and Blair are nowhere visible near him even though several accounts describe that Lincoln trailed Seward, Usher, and Blair up onto the rostrum.
  • His alleged Secretary of State Seward was seated on the platform 10 minutes (or more) before his Lincoln is said to be seen in the second (but not the first) Gardner photo standing and not yet seated.
  • His alleged Secretary of State Seward is seated at the far right end of the platform, several rows behind other men situated with their backs to him nowhere near the spot where Seward is shown seated in the center of the front row of chairs on the speakers’ platform in the Bachrach photo. Accounts also place Seward where he is shown in the Bachrach photo.
  • His alleged Seward is “guarded” by young boys standing behind him on the platform in both of the first two Gardner stereo views.
  • Men in the crowd are not seen removing their hats in a show of respect for his alleged Lincoln.
  • His Lincoln allegedly was moving throughout the exposure of the second Gardner stereo view as he walked up (or moved to the base of) stairs; if so, Gardner’s camera from a distance of about 90 yards away never would have captured the facial details claimed to match Lincoln’s studio photo taken from a distance of a few feet when Lincoln sat ramrod straight and perfectly still for Gardner’s several second indoor exposure. Oakley’s Lincoln must have been seated, otherwise his face would have been blurred, twinned, or appeared as a ghost image. Plenty of visual evidence of multiple ghost images of people who moved substantial distances throughout the camera’s exposure supports the conclusion that the second Gardner stereo view was exposed for as long as 10 to 12 seconds.
  • Professor Oakley claims that his Lincoln was soon to be seated to the left of his alleged Seward in the second Gardner stereo view.
  • His Lincoln, in truth, is visible in the first Gardner photo seated in the exact location as he is seen in the second photo — to the left of his alleged Seward (see below). His hat is visible in the first stereo angled in the same orientation as seen in the second Gardner stereo. His Lincoln’s face happened to be turned away from the camera in the first stereo view.

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  • His Lincoln is seated on the extreme far right of the platform behind several rows of standing and seated men when all accounts and the Bachrach photo place Lincoln and Seward in the exact center of the front row of seats on the stand — befitting their stature and importance. David Wills, Esq. and Governor Curtin never would have seated the President and Secretary of State anywhere near where Professor Oakley places them.
  • The nose on his Lincoln is “hawk-shaped;” but Lincoln’s substantial nose was not hooked. In the Smithsonian article trumpeting Professor Oakley’s discovery, the one prominent facial feature which Professor Oakley does not list as matching Lincoln’s face is his nose. In a side profile view, one’s nose usually is their most prominent feature. With respect to Lincoln’s substantial nose, that is the case for sure. To my knowledge, not until an interview with the CBS Evening News on November 19, 2013 did Professor Oakley declare his Lincoln’s nose to be a “match” to Lincoln’s. This he did after first showing a highlighted image of his Lincoln’s face — hooked nose and all. He then showed a computer screen view of his Lincoln’s face already overlaid with a transparency of a scaled-down Alexander Gardner studio photo of Lincoln taken on November 8, 1863 and further framed by an outline of Lincoln’s face seen in that studio photo. A favorable response by CBS reporter Chip Reid was captured on air when, in fact, Reid viewed, in essence, nothing more than Lincoln’s studio photo taken on November 8, 1863 placed within Gardner’s second stereo view shot outdoors on November 19, 1863 which was overlaid on top of the Professor’s candidate for Lincoln. See the screen captures from the broadcast, below.
  • The “beard” on his Lincoln’s chin is tucked into his shirt and many shades darker than the rest of his facial hair; Professor Oakley has conveniently carved out from the dark blob at the base of his Lincoln’s chin only a tiny portion of that which he claims matches Lincoln’s beard. In essence, he sees what he wants to see and has made it so.
  • His Lincoln’s “beard” is just as likely a bow tie or the entire dark blob represents a beard far larger than Lincoln’s December 8, 1863 studio photo.
  • Exclusive reliance upon an alleged visual identification of Seward and Lincoln, without a comprehensive comparative review of details within all three Gardner stereo photos (let alone the written historical record) is insufficient proof. Oakley’s Seward cannot be Seward merely because of where he is seated and when he is said to be seated. Likewise, his Lincoln cannot be Lincoln for the same reasons. No measure of photo software enhancement, overlays, rotation of studio photos, and other technological applications can change that.

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The screen captures (above) from the CBS Evening News interview originally broadcasted on November 19, 2013 are used herein under the fair use doctrine and principles of fair dealing, as they are used for comment, scholarship, and research.

HEBERTON’s LINCOLN

There are numerous accounts that Lincoln wore white gloves over his large hands and a stovepipe hat wrapped with a mourning band in Gettysburg. Detail from the first Gardner photo reveals the heavily shadowed face of a bearded man (see below, boxed in red) with a prominent motion-distorted nose and an equally large right ear beneath a stovepipe hat adorned by a mourning band. The elaborately intricate outer cartilage of his proportionately over-sized right ear can be seen along with a small, rounded jutting chin covered by a dark beard. In this Gardner photo he is the object of the most intense scrutiny of all visible men and women who are standing upon the speakers’ platform and facing Gardner’s camera (“Heberton’s Lincoln”)  despite being turned away from them —  just as President Lincoln would have been. In the words of one journalist, Lincoln was “the observed of all observers” when he appeared before the rostrum.  Many accounts explain that this was so from the moment that Lincoln stepped off his train after arriving in Gettysburg on November 18, 1863 until he departed Gettysburg the following day after giving his “Address,” returning to the town square from the cemetery, dining, shaking hands with thousands of well-wishers at the Wills home, and visiting the town’s Presbyterian church for a final reception with local “hero” John Burns.

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Many studio photographs reveal that Lincoln’s nose and ears were quite large in proportion to the rest of his long face and that his dark beard covered a portion of his prominently rounded and jutting chin, just as can be seen in the first Gardner stereo view.  See, below, a photo of Lincoln from the LC taken during his presidency, illustrating his massively high forehead, lengthy neckline, long and prominent nose, over-sized ears, and rounded, jutting chin.

LC 3c00623v The forward-facing visible grandstand spectators in the scene captured by Gardner were standing on the highest tiers of the speakers’ platform, looking down over others standing beneath them and then ultimately over as many as three rows of chairs on the lowest level of the front of the rostrum set up in a bowed orchestral-like formation. They are seen staring at the singular object of their collective attention fronting the speakers’ platform. It is estimated that they were at a distance of at least 100 yards from Gardner’s camera location (the focal acuity of the dual lenses of Gardner’s camera at this distance was very good so long as objects remained still throughout its four to five second exposure and were not shaded from the sun — note: the second Gardner photo had an exposure time of at least 10-12 seconds). One hatless military man strains to peek at Heberton’s Lincoln by looking over the right shoulder of a taller, mutton-chopped Colonel Henry P. Martin who is standing in front of him also without a topper. Some other men are hatless too. Even the men with their backs to Gardner on horseback — who are situated between Gardner and the rostrum — are all oriented in the direction of Heberton’s Lincoln, appearing equally transfixed.

The only person in the scene not looking at Heberton’s Lincoln is the boy circled in yellow, above. Heberton’s Lincoln gazes down upon upon that boy benevolently with a leftward-tilted, cocked head. The angle at which Heberton’s Lincoln’s hat is oriented results in its motion-obscured brim blocking all of the November sun’s rays from his face. People who knew Lincoln described that he came to favor wearing unusually wide brimmed hats. The boy fronts Heberton’s Lincoln in the manner seen because he is seated in front of Heberton’s Lincoln, presumably on the same saddle of a hidden horse. A large white-gloved left hand from Heberton’s Lincoln — palm side up, with fingers extended — obscures the boy’s mouth and chin from Gardner’s camera. We may see a portion of the boy’s right hand grasping the right side of his face as if he cannot believe what is happening to him and/or looking at something before him in semi-amazement. Possibly standing before the boy at the moment was a portion of a detachment of the Invalid Corps extending an official greeting to their president. These men were wounded at the battle of Gettysburg and deemed unfit to be returned to combat duty but capable of performing other services. They may have been gathered to greet Lincoln near the eagle finial-topped staff (seen within the detail, above, to the far right) stationed to mark the beginning of the corridor of soldiers positioned in front of the rostrum. In the words of one eyewitness — “Easily the feature of the parade was a detachment of forty soldiers who had been injured in the battle and who had been removed to the military hospital at York, thirty miles to the east. They were sent to represent their comrades, every one bearing the marks of the fearful struggle, many of them on crutches. They carried a large white banner draped in mourning which bore this inscription on one side: ‘Army of the Potomac, Gettysburg, July 1, 2, 3, 1863.’ and on  the other side appeared the likeness of a funeral urn and the tribute: ‘Honor to our brave soldiers.'” Why might Lincoln have scooped up a boy appearing to be around the age of 10 and placed him on his saddle in front of the speakers’ platform? The context of what was then happening provides a cogent answer: Lincoln’s 10 year-old son, Tad, was back at the White House fighting a potentially life-threatening case of smallpox. Mary Todd Lincoln had urged her husband not to go to Gettysburg in light of Tad’s serious condition (she also was recovering from being thrown from the Lincoln’s carriage and injuring her head in an accident she believed to have resulted from an act of sabotage). Lincoln received telegrams in Gettysburg from Stanton and his wife before riding in the procession which assured him that Tad was improving rather than taking a turn for the worse. Those messages must have taken some of the huge weight off of his shoulders. Many accounts describe how focused Lincoln was on touching, greeting, kissing, and shaking hands with the children he encountered in Gettysburg.  For example, Rev. D.A. Dickson recounted that — “As the Presidential party in the procession was passing through the Public Square on its way to Baltimore Street, a man standing close to the line held high in his arms his little girl dressed in white. Lincoln reached out his long arms, lifted the child to a place on his horse before him, kissed her, then handed her back to her happy father.” Thus, we have at least one account of Lincoln bringing a child up onto his saddle — in this case, a stand-in for the daughter Lincoln never had. The boy seen on the saddle of Lincoln’s horse in the first Gardner stereo view may have served as a form of temporary surrogate for his beloved Tad. Had Tad not been ill, he might have accompanied his father and mother to Gettysburg and ridden on the saddle of his father’s horse. Several accounts confirm that students who were directed to walk at the back of the procession from the town center were brought forward once they reached the cemetery and passed through the massive crowds with Lincoln’s entourage to the very front of the speakers’ platform. The boy we see in Gardner’s stereo view may have been one of those children — the luckiest of them all.  Below is a photo of Lincoln with Tad from the LC:

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Trailing behind Heberton’s Lincoln, wearing white gauntlets on his hands, is Colonel James Barnet Fry, then the Provost Marshal General (boxed in blue in the first image, above). He is seated atop his horse closer to Gardner’s camera than Heberton’s Lincoln and may have been executing a left-handed salute with a riding crop in his left hand. Fry was Marshal-in-Chief Ward H. Lamon’s boss in Washington, D.C. — in Lamon’s capacity as the U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia — and had been designated by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to serve as Lincoln’s special escort in Gettysburg. Fry later wrote: “I was designated by the Secretary of War as a sort of special escort to accompany the President from Washington to Gettysburg upon the occasion of the first anniversary of the battle at that place. At the appointed time I found the President’s carriage at the door to take him to the station; but he was not ready. When he appeared it was rather late, and I remarked that he had no time to lose in going to the train. ‘Well,’ said he, ‘I feel about that as the convict in one of our Illinois towns felt when he was going to the gallows. As he passed along the road in the custody of the sheriff, the people, eager to see the execution, kept crowding and pushing past him. At last he called out, ‘Boys! you needn’t be in such a hurry to get ahead, for there won’t be any fun till I get there.'” The column in which Lincoln rode in the procession, consisting of Marshal-in-Chief Lamon (Lincoln’s former law partner and confidant), Secretary of State Seward, Secretary of the Interior John P. Usher, and Postmaster-General Montgomery Blair, was immediately trailed by Provost Marshal General Fry’s column. Personally attending to Lincoln’s safety was Fry’s highest duty in Gettysburg. Detail from each of the stereos of the second Gardner stereo view from the LC’s collection, taken an estimated minute after the first view, can be seen below. According to Bob Zeller, no other outdoor Civil War photographs framing the exact same space are known to have been shot with such rapidity. This makes sense given the enormous amount of time required to take a wet-plate glass negative and then develop it on the spot.

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It can be seen that the area occupied by Heberton’s Lincoln in the first Gardner view is still the object of the spectators’ earnest and focused attention in the second Gardner plate. One thing which did change, however, is that all visible men on the rostrum are wearing their hats. The men who were hatless in the first view are now covered. This suggests that men who had uncovered their heads in the first view had done so out of respect for a person they had been viewing or a ceremony involving that person. Many accounts state how men on the speakers’ platform removed or doffed their hats in a showing of respect for Lincoln when he appeared before them.  Colonel Henry P. Martin and the soldier peering over his right shoulder are prime examples. Between the shooting of the first and second Gardner stereos, those two soldiers returned their kepis to their heads after doffing them. The same stovepipe hat adorned by a mourning band in the first Gardner stereo view, is visible in the exact same location in the second stereo view (see the hat under the arrow, below).

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Only this time, the hat is partially fronted by the “ghost image” of a man’s face. The ghost image resulted from the fast movement of the man’s head. It can be shown that the man probably had bowed forward towards Gardner’s camera because the underside of the wide brim of his upward-tilted stovepipe hat clearly can be seen.  The photographic capture of his ghost image resulted in rendering his face and his facial hair an opalescent white. Only his dark, deep-set brows remained true to their actual color. Along with his dark  brows shaped like diacritical circumflex accents, his long nose is very similar to Lincoln’s and he appears to have deeply indented cheek lines as well as a beard covering his rounded chin. See below to view detail within the LC’s second Gardner photo, with a super imposed side-by-side studio image of Lincoln taken by Gardner in Washington, D.C. eleven days before the Gettysburg ceremony. Unlike the studio view, Heberton’s Lincoln’s lips are not pursed. His mouth is open and he appears to be smiling, explaining why his face is a bit longer than the studio image. There are no existing photographs of Lincoln smiling or posing with an opened mouth. This might be the only image we will ever see of him doing either.

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Thus, it appears that the second view, for which there was a much longer time of exposure than the first view by a factor of 2 or 3 times as deduced by other visual evidence, captured two images of Heberton’s Lincoln: (1) his mourning band adorned hat seen in relatively good clarity and (2) a second and later exposure of his ghost image fronting that hat with the translucent face of Heberton’s Lincoln. The ghost image resulted either because Heberton’s Lincoln bowed his head forward and then raised it back up to reveal his face and hat in an up-turned position or possibly even after he reached down to deposit the boy seen on his saddle in the first view back to the ground. There are several accounts describing how Lincoln was not inclined to gesticulate with his hands, choosing instead to bow to his left or right from atop his horse to acknowledge the crowd’s reaction to him within the procession to the cemetery grounds. One reliable account even describes that Lincoln did not gesticulate with his hands during his now famous consecration oration, rather he bowed from side to side to emphasize various points within his short Gettysburg Address. From the context of what was going on around Heberton’s Lincoln in both the first and second Gardner stereo views which literally were taken “back-to-back” by the standards of 1860’s wet-plate photography, we know precisely where Lincoln was located thanks to the collectively focused gaze of the crowd and the presence of Lincoln’s special escort, Provost Marshal General Fry, a few feet behind him. The fact that the two Near-in-Time Gardner photos were taken in rapid fire succession, followed by a third view much more distant in time, establishes that Gardner was not merely taking generic crowd shots. The visual evidence, although not of the same quality as one might hope to obtain in a studio photograph taken from a distance of a few feet rather than outdoors from 80 to 90 yards with thousands of people present, also is supportive, albeit subject to more than one interpretation. But even what Heberton’s Lincoln wore is extremely supportive. Heberton’s Lincoln is the only Lincoln candidate wearing a mourning bandThis is a critical observation independent of all of the other evidence. He also wore white gloves. Simply because the American intelligence community did not have a photograph of Bin Laden’s face before conducting their raid, the presence and actions of key people around Bin Laden gave them a sufficiently high degree of confidence that he was where they surmised he would be. As it turned out, they were right. The same holds true with respect to the Gardner stereo views. One doesn’t have to look at Heberton’s Lincoln images and declare that they are 100% matches to the studio images of Lincoln to which we all have become accustomed. Taken in combination with a well-reasoned evaluation of the comparative contextual details within each of the three Gardner scenes, Gardner’s true intentions are revealed along with the true location of Abraham Lincoln. Unlike Professor Christopher Oakley, I did not go searching in the hope of finding Lincoln within these photos. Instead, I studied these digital images originally to determine whether John J. Richter’s Lincoln is the “real McCoy” or if William A. Frassanito was correct in maintaining that Gardner only desired generic crowd shots because it was impossible for Lincoln to be anywhere other than seated upon the speakers’ platform completely obscured from Gardner’s camera. Mr. Frassanito, who has admitted in interviews to not being internet savvy, blogged through a friend in 2008 that in light of all of the evidence, “it seems evident to me that the two Gardner stereos were recorded subsequent to the occupation of the speakers’ stand by both Lincoln and the numerous dignitaries who followed him into the National Cemetery” and that Lincoln “would already have been seated on the speakers’ stand, patiently waiting for the ceremonies to begin, i.e., the speeches, etc.” For these and other reasons, he assigned a 20% probability that Mr. Richter and his colleague Bob Zeller had struck real gold rather than fool’s gold. See http://livingonthefield.blogspot.com/2008/01/william-frassanitos-problems-with-john.html. My book concluded that Mr. Frassanito’s position that Gardner’s photographs were mere “crowd shots” and not intended to capture Lincoln within any of the scenes is erroneous because an enormous amount of visual and documentary evidence says otherwise. Abandoning his prior position that Lincoln could not possibly be arriving at the speakers’ platform when any of the Gardner stereos were taken, Mr. Frassanito stated a new position in the October 2013 Smithsonian Magazine that he is 80% certain that Lincoln is visible in the second Gardner stereo view arriving, according to Professor Oakley, at the speakers’ platform. 80% is a very high number in light of the assignment of a failing 20% probability to the same proposition only 5 years earlier.  Nearly all of the six or seven reasons cited by Mr. Frassanito in 2008 against the proposition that that the Gardner stereo views cannot possibly show Lincoln arriving at the speakers’ platform (including those articulated in a Civil War News interview conducted by Deborah Fitts) have not been affected in any way by the new ultra-high resolution scans obtained by Professor Oakley sometime during the first three months of 2013. That is because those now abandoned arguments merely were based upon a contextual interpretation of the views rather than the physical features of Richter’s Lincoln. His only remaining contention from 2008 against John Richter’s Lincoln candidate which still applies today is that the appearance of Richter’s Lincoln reveals that he “was undoubtedly nothing more than an anonymous, historically insignificant civilian official … that followed the dignitaries into the National Cemetery” and who was “hardly the focus of Gardner’s attention.” One of Mr. Frassanito’s 2008 arguments — that “Lincoln did not ride alone in the procession … [and] it is well documented that Lincoln was accompanied and flanked by several mounted civilians, including the chief marshal and three members of Lincoln’s cabinet (one of whom was six-feet-tall and undoubtedly wearing a hat). The individual identified by John appears to be completely unaccompanied by any mounted escorts [emphasis added]” — undercuts Professor Oakley’s position. Because Professor Oakley maintains that his candidate for Secretary of State Seward was seated in the first Gardner stereo view for ten minutes before Oakley’s Lincoln magically appeared out of nowhere in the second Gardner stereo view, Professor Oakley is left without any rational explanations for why everyone ignored and no one accompanied Oakley’s Lincoln in the second view … if he really is Lincoln. (Except as otherwise noted, all images hereinabove are courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

THE 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEDICATION OF THE GETTYSBURG SOLDIERS’ NATIONAL CEMETERY

It was an honor to attend the 150th Anniversary of the Dedication of Gettysburg’s Soldiers’ National Cemetery on November 19, 2013. My thanks to everyone who made my visit an unforgettable experience. Please note that all of the images below are subject to a copyright in favor of Craig Heberton IV who reserves all rights. — Craig Heberton

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The Big Picture: Where Would Lincoln Be? Heberton Reveals His Findings

29 Oct
Gardner1stphoto 178 Lincoln DS

See the evidence – click here

In 2010, Craig Heberton and his associate began to review within the Library of Congress’ collection several hi-resolution digital images of three stereographic photographs by Alexander Gardner taken on November 19, 1863 at the Gettysburg Soldier’s Cemetery dedication ceremony – two of which reveal the image of Abraham Lincoln at the scene of the Gettysburg Address – or so Heberton believed and set out to prove. Heberton published his findings in an eBook in 2012: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg: A Review of Alexander Gardner’s Stereoscopic Photographs. The book (published by WMI Books and available on Amazon) broke new ground in the identification of individuals surrounding Lincoln and the events of that important day at Gettysburg.

On September 24, 2013, the SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE released an article  in their October 2013 issue titled: “Will the Real Abraham Lincoln Please Stand Up?”.  The article announces a photographic discovery by Civil War expert, Christopher Oakley, that places Abraham Lincoln in an Alexander Gardner photograph as well – but Oakley’s figure is different from Heberton’s.  In fact,  Heberton and Oakley make a case for two different figures as the true Lincoln.   A link to the SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE article is below:

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

But before reading more, take a look at the big picture yourself in the photo above.  Enlarge it and take in the scene. What do you see? What do you feel?

Alexander Gardner captured a moment here during the four- hour consecration ceremony of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg , on November 19, 1863.   The crowd that was estimated at 15,000, gathered near a hill and a low platform where President Abraham Lincoln and other dignitaries were seated.  Lincoln was to give a short consecration speech — a simple address — following the 2-hour oration by the featured speaker, the Hon. Edward Everett.   Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address took under three minutes to deliver, but what he said continues to ripple across human consciousness today.  Could that be why we yearn to see yet one more photograph of this moment, especially if it would reveal Lincoln in 3-D?

Links for Gettysburg Address and the event in 1863:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Address#Contemporary_sources_and_reaction

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consecration_of_the_National_Cemetery_at_Gettysburg

Now, follow along as Craig Heberton, author of ABRAHAM LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG: A REVIEW OF ALEXANDER GARDNER’S STEREOSCOPIC PHOTOS,  dissects the big picture and elaborates on his findings that place Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg possibly in two stereoscopic photographs in a location which disagrees with the findings of Professor Oakley. Both explanations are compelling, but who is right?  Read the following and decide for yourself:

(1) When Lincoln approached the elevated speakers’ stand he was “the observed of all observers” in the words of one journalist. Oakley’s Lincoln is  “the completely unobserved of all observers” (with apologies to Shakespeare’s Hamlet).  No one nearby pays him any attention whatsoever even though he is supposed to be beginning his ascent up steps to the speakers’ platform unaccompanied by other members of his entourage (such as his Secretaries Usher and Blair, members of Lincoln’s Cabinet, who like Secretary of State William Seward accompanied Lincoln to the platform). Prof. Oakley asserts that Secretary Seward is visible in the first Gardner photo seated on the speakers’ platform as many as 10 minutes before his Lincoln magically appears — for the very first time — and then begins his ascent up steps to the platform, ignored and unaccompanied by anyone.  Heberton’s Lincoln, on the other hand, is the center of attention for the entire visible crowd on the speakers’ platform. Unlike Oakley’s Lincoln, he is positioned in front of the speakers’ platform on his horse near a presidential-looking eagle finial topped banner. He also is trailed by Lincoln’s “special escort” from the War Department — Provost Marshal General James B. Fry. In his capacity as Lincoln’s special escort, Fry picked up Lincoln at the White House in a carriage, took him to the train station, accompanied him to Gettysburg, and rode behind his President in the procession to the cemetery. Fry later stood near Lincoln on the rostrum. One of Fry’s subordinates was the Gettysburg cemetery dedication event’s Marshal-in-chief — Ward H. Lamon, whose real job was U.S. Marshal for D.C. Lamon believed that his most important job was to keep his former law partner, Abraham Lincoln, safe. Pinpointing Fry on horseback in the first Gardner photo assures us that — as is Heberton’s Lincoln — the real Lincoln is close by.

(2) No men removed or doffed their hats near Oakley’s Lincoln (neither men standing on the ground oriented towards Oakley’s Lincoln nor anyone on the platform) removed their hats in the 2nd Gardner photo in a showing of respect for Oakley’s Lincoln. Journalists described most men removing or doffing their hats in a show of respect as Lincoln approached the speaker’s platform. Two military men staring directly down upon Heberton’s Lincoln (who faces away from them) from atop the speakers’ platform in the first Gardner photo were hatless; by the time the 2nd photo was taken, they had replaced their kepis on their heads.

(3) Oakley’s alleged Seward is seated in the absolutely wrong location despite Prof. Oakley’s claim that his students “triangulated the location of the speakers’ stand from four photos … [and] his Lincoln appeared in precisely the right spot.” Oakley places Secretary of State William Seward at the far right end of the platform, dangling upon it’s edge, and sitting adjacent to alleged stairs. He identifies no other men of distinction near his Seward in Gardner’s first photo. Also, Oakley’s Seward is not in the front row of chairs on the speakers’ platform, rather he is situated several rows behind other men seated with their backs to him. The restrictive view offered by Gardner’s obtuse camera angle and obstructing men mounted on horseback does not reveal fully how many rows deep sat Oakley’s Seward from the front row on the platform. Bachrach’s photo, on the other hand, shows Seward seated next to Lincoln centered in the middle of the first row of the most important dignitaries with an unimpeded view of the crowd. Scholars agree with that alignment. The Bachrach photo shows that no stairs were to Seward’s left; instead, there were — in the following order — Edward Everett then standing, two of Chief Marshal Ward H. Lamon’s aides (standing), Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin and one of his sons, New York Gov. Seymour, and Ohio Gov. Tod. Those three governors represented the states of the Union which had lost the most men at the Battle of Gettysburg — other governors and ex-governors also attended. Several distinctive men visible in the Bachrach photo near the far right side of the platform also are visible in the Gardner photos. They give us the perspective necessary to understand the different views that each of Alexander Gardner and David Bachrach had of the speakers’ platform. Despite Seward’s importance, in the first Gardner photo, Oakley’s Seward is guarded by two little boys standing directly behind him; in the second photo, one of the two boys remained standing behind Oakley’s Steward and Lincoln — two very unexpected platform attendants for two of the three most powerful men in Washington, D.C. Seward is Prof. Oakley’s lynchpin argument for his Lincoln. If his Seward is wrong, then he is left with no one who should have been near the President when he walked up onto the platform and his Lincoln theory is undercut. The mere fact that Oakley’s Seward is seated in the wrong place in the first and second photos and as many as ten minutes ahead of Oakley’s Lincoln means that he cannot be William Seward. [Note: it bears mentioning that Alexander Gardner’s photographic platform was not lined up facing the front of the speakers’ platform; his camera platform was at an obtuse angle to the rostrum and because of that angle, obstructing men mounted on their horses, and members of the crowd standing upon the speakers’ platform, the front row of the speakers’ platform was not visible to Gardner’s camera].

(4) A thick white emulsion crack runs horizontally across a side view of Oakley’s Seward in Gardner’s first photo and his entire facial profile is blurred, preventing an evaluation of his eyes or eyebrows. Oakley acknowledges that his Seward appears as a “gray blur.” The white crack runs horizontally from the lower portion of his nose across his face, preventing any determination of the shape of the tip of that man’s nose. Prof. Oakley claims that in Gardner’s second photo his Seward’s head is “slightly away from [the] camera …[but] in perfect profile.” A review of that photo shows that Oakley’s Seward is not in “perfect profile” and turned so far away from the camera that only the tip of his nose is visible. His chin is distorted by damage to the plate and his eyes and eyebrows (again) are not discernible. In Bachrach’s photo, Seward appears to be seated wearing a topcoat which completely obscures his shirt collar. The entire shirt collar on Oakley’s Seward in the Alexander Gardner photos, however, is fully exposed and he does not appear to be wearing a topcoat over his formal jacket. A blurred man not seated in the proper place does not make for a good candidate to use for overlaying studio photos of Seward.

(5) Prof. Oakley’s claim that his alleged Lincoln is visible only in Gardner’s second photo appears to be wrong. Oakley asserts that his Lincoln appears in Gardner’s second photo by “accident” because he was “standing below the platform” and just then “preparing to mount the steps” to the speakers’ platform. The visual evidence points to a more probable scenario — that Oakley’s Lincoln was seated in the first photo in the exact spot where Oakley places him in the second photo, sporting a tall hat in the identical location and tilted forward in an extremely similar orientation. In this instance, Oakley’s Lincoln’s face cannot be seen, probably because it was turned toward Oakley’s alleged Seward — whose face happened to be turned more towards the alleged Lincoln. Perhaps these gentlemen exchanged a remark about their inability to see what was going on in front of the rostrum. If Oakley’s Lincoln is visible in both photos it means that he was seated at the extreme far end of the speaker’s platform several rows deep from the front of the platform. Otherwise, if his Lincoln was standing in both photos he would have stood rooted in one spot between the shooting of the first and second photos (which, according to Prof. Oakley, was “as much as ten minutes”). Accepting, for the sake of argument that Oakley’s Gardner is visible only in the second photo, Oakley offers no explanation for his whereabouts in the first photo. A review of the positioning of the same people who were moving between the first and second photos reveals that no more than about two minutes (and probably less) passed between those exposures. Oakley’s Lincoln (and his entourage) should be visible somewhere on horseback or on foot within a huge wide open area unimpeded by mounted riders behind his second photo location. However, he is not visible anywhere in the first photo. The best explanation for that is because he was seated on the speakers’ platform next to the alleged Seward.

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6. If Oakley’s Lincoln was “preparing to mount steps” as he approached the platform on foot then he was in motion rather than stationary. Since he was in motion throughout some or all of the second photo’s time of exposure it must be asked how Gardner’s camera managed to capture an image of him sufficiently clear to reveal all of the minute facial details which Oakley claims renders his candidate a perfect match to a studio photo taken by the same photographer at a distance of a few feet as opposed to 80 to 90 yards at Gettysburg? The answer is that such a feat was impossible given the limitations of 1863 camera and photographic technology. Furthermore, if Oakley’s Lincoln was approaching steps in the second photo he would have appeared either as a series of blurred, twinned, or ghost images. For example, a boy visible in the foreground a few feet from Gardner’s camera moved during some of the exposure resulting in a series of FOUR images of him within the photo. One of those images was clear enough to reveal that he had stood in one of his four spots for about four to five seconds. Each of the other three images of the boy are faint ghost images attesting to his movement. All of this evidence, and more, establishes that Oakley’s Lincoln was stationary and relatively motionless throughout the exposure of the second photo. This further establishes that Oakley’s Lincoln was seated in the second photo at the very edge of the platform to the left of Oakley’s Seward just as he had been in the first photo. But as Prof.  Oakley has acknowledged, Lincoln sat to Seward’s right on the platform, not to his left.

(7) Prof. Oakley’s assertion that ten minutes could have passed between the exposure of the first and second photo is not supported; moreover, it is disproved by his claim that Seward is visible in both photos. One of Prof. Oakley’s current backers, William Frassanito, stated in early 2008 that three to five minutes passed between the first two Gardner exposures.  John Richter has estimated the gap at a minute or two. According to journalists’ reports, Lincoln immediately trailed his cabinet members (including Seward) when he surmounted steps to the platform. If Oakley is correct in his identification of Seward in both Gardner photos, then the time gap between the first and the second Gardner photo had to have been no more than a few seconds or possibly even a minute and we should be able to see the other attending members of Lincoln’s cabinet accompanying him — Secretaries Usher and Blair. But, we do not. Also, as mentioned above, if the time gap between photos #1 and #2 was a minute or less, Oakley’s Lincoln should be just as visible somewhere in the first Gardner photo.

Prof. Oakley’s work on his Virtual Lincoln Project is to be greatly respected, but based upon what has been published, his identification of Lincoln appears to be off the mark.

Join the conversation online.  Follow ABRAHAM LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG on Facebook and Twitter:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abraham-Lincoln-at-Gettysburg/338089372973741?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/WMIbooks

Questions and inquiries?  amy@wcabooks.com

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

10/3/13 Press Release: Should Oakley’s Lincoln Sit Down?

3 Oct

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 3, 2013

CONTACT:

Judy Ault

WMI Books

1-888-490-0100

WMIbooks.com

lincolnatgettysburg@gmail.com

https://abrahamlincolnatgettysburg.wordpress.com/

SHOULD OAKLEY’S LINCOLN SIT DOWN?  CIVIL WAR AUTHOR CRAIG HEBERTON CASTS DOUBT ON THE PROFESSOR’S FINDINGS

 

CROZET, VA – In 2010, Craig Heberton and his associate began to review within the Library of Congress’ collection several hi-resolution digital images of three stereographic photographs by Alexander Gardner taken on November 19, 1863 at the Gettysburg Soldier’s Cemetery dedication ceremony – two of which reveal the image of Abraham Lincoln at the scene of the Gettysburg Address – or so Heberton believed and set out to prove. Heberton published his findings in an eBook in 2012: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg: A Review of Alexander Gardner’s Stereoscopic Photographs. The book (published by WMI Books and available on Amazon) broke new ground in the identification of individuals surrounding Lincoln and the events of that important day at Gettysburg.

On September 24, 2013, the SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE released an article in the October 2013 issue titled: “Will the Real Abraham Lincoln Please Stand Up?”  The article announced a photographic discovery by Lincoln devotee and UNCA Professor, Christopher Oakley, that places Abraham Lincoln in one of the Alexander Gardner photographs. Heberton’s photographic discovery points to a much more likely figure of Lincoln.  Heberton and Oakley make a case for two entirely different figures as the true Lincoln — but who is right and why?

What makes the Heberton Lincoln a more compelling choice? The pictures tell the real story, along with over two years of research to back it up. To make his case, Heberton has created a blog https://abrahamlincolnatgettysburg.wordpress.com/ that sheds light on the differences between Oakley’s Lincoln and his own – compelling research data that raises serious doubts about Oakley’s conclusions.  Read the blog (and the book) and view the photographs for yourself.

Here are some highlights:

Why Oakley’s Lincoln is wrong:

Oakley’s Lincoln is completely ignored by the crowd whereas Lincoln was the center of attention on his arrival;

No dignitaries are on their feet to greet Oakley’s Lincoln when he alone begins mounting steps to the platform;

Oakley’s Lincoln is unaccompanied by the three attending members of Lincoln’s Cabinet (Seward, Blair, and Usher); accounts state that Lincoln immediately followed them onto the platform;

Oakley doesn’t place his Lincoln on the platform until ten minutes after Sec. of State Seward is seated;

No men in the crowd removed their hats in a show of respect for Oakley’s Lincoln;

The nose on Oakley’s Lincoln is “hawk-shaped” and does not match Lincoln’s nose;

The alleged beard on the chin of Oakley’s Lincoln is tucked downwards into his shirt and is so much darker than his other facial hair, suggesting it is a large bow tie rather than a beard;

Oakley’s Lincoln is on the far right of the platform buried several rows back; all accounts and photos place Lincoln in the front and center of the speakers stand.

Why Heberton’s Lincoln makes more sense:

His Lincoln is the center of focused attention from nearly all visible platform spectators in two photos while atop his horse directly in front of the speakers’ platform;

Some men on the platform doffed their hats for his Lincoln;

His Lincoln is positioned near a presidential-appearing eagle finial topped staff;

Lincoln wore white gauntlets over his extremely large hands and was preoccupied with the children at Gettysburg, patting their heads & bestowing kisses;

His Lincoln extends a large white gloved hand in front of a boy’s face seated on the front of his saddle;

His Lincoln precedes Lincoln’s special escort sent by Sec. of War Stanton to safeguard the President, consistent with an account that the escort rode behind Lincoln in the procession;

Within the shadows is revealed a distinctive bearded chin and a large ear and long nose, appearing like Lincoln’s;

A line of contrast in darkness on his Lincoln’s hat betrays the presence of a hat band which Lincoln wore in honor of his deceased son Willie; and

Movement by his possible Lincoln throughout the 2nd exposure created a long and narrow opalescent ghost-image face, smiling at the camera, which appears to have a bearded small chin.

To learn more about Heberton’s photographic discovery of Lincoln and the latest in the Lincoln at Gettysburg photographic debate, please join us online at Facebook and Twitter and follow the book’s blog:

https://abrahamlincolnatgettysburg.wordpress.com/

Facebook and Twitter:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Abraham-Lincoln-at-Gettysburg/338089372973741

https://twitter.com/WMIbooks

Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg:

A Review of Alexander Gardner’s Stereoscopic Photos:

http://www.amazon.com/Abraham-Lincoln-at-Gettysburg-ebook/dp/B00AEY2HWQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1357345561&sr=8-3&keywords=heberton

October 2013 Smithsonian Magazine Article:

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

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Where is Lincoln? Heberton Takes on the Flaws in Oakley’s Case

27 Sep
Gardner1stphoto 178 Lincoln DS
Where is Lincoln? Read what Heberton reveals in the ebook: ABRAHAM LINCOLN AT GETTSYBURG
Gardner #1

Gardner #1 photo detail

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Detail of Lincoln’s face under his stovepipe hat in Gardner #1 photo

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Detail of Lincoln’s white-gloved hand (boxed) in Gardner #1 photo

Gardner #2

Gardner #2 photo (right stereo) detail

Gardner #3

Gardner #2 photo (left stereo) detail

Bachrach #4

Bachrach photo detail

In September 2013, the Smithsonian Magazine published an online article which is to appear in their October issue about a new photographic discovery of Lincoln at Gettysburg. Craig Heberton, author of ABRAHAM LINCOLN AT GETTYBURG, made his own discoveries on the same topic and published his ebook well before the Smithsonian piece. His findings differ from Professor Oakley’s in several significant respects, including his identification of President Lincoln in Alexander Gardner’s stereoscopic plates. Working independently of Prof. Oakley and all of the men whom the professor has named as his co-collaborators, Mr. Heberton offers a fresh “outsiders” perspective on the Gardner Gettysburg views.

Here is a link to the Smithsonian Magazine article:

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

If Heberton is correct, he has uncovered a poignant scene of Lincoln stationed atop his horse directly in front of the speakers’ platform which he would later surmount to give his Gettysburg Address.  Heberton has concluded that a young boy is seated on the front of Lincoln’s saddle in the first Gardner photo.  Here he describes his discovery:

In an emotionally evocative scene, Lincoln paternalistically gazes down upon the boy from behind, with his head tilted to the side, while thrusting one of his large white gloved hands out towards the thousands of spectators standing before him as if to say to the boy — “what do you think about all of this?” To put this into context, at that moment Lincoln’s 10 year- old son, Tad, was back at the White House battling a potentially fatal case of smallpox. The boy on Lincoln’s saddle looked the part of a boy Tad’s age — a form of a stand-in for his missing son. This was not what I expected to see when I began to study Gardner’s stereoscopic slides three years ago — a journey which began when a colleague called one day and said, “I’m e-mailing you a photo and I want you to tell me where it was taken, when it was taken, what it represents … and if you see Lincoln anywhere in it. OK?”

When Heberton first saw the Smithsonian article he was impressed with the technical skills applied by Professor Oakley in his research as described in the article. But he was greatly disappointed by the identity and location of Oakley’s candidate for Lincoln. Maybe even more disappointing was Oakley’s claim that Lincoln “accidentally” appeared in one of Gardner’s photographic efforts essentially because Alexander Gardner had photographed Lincoln before. Here Heberton describes his reaction to Oakley’s revelations:

Professor Oakley claims that Alexander Gardner had taken plenty of posed photos of Lincoln on prior occasions and had no use for any images of Lincoln upon the former Gettysburg battlefield among the thousands who gathered to honor the dead Union soldiers and to dedicate the new cemetery in an event described by the media as the greatest gathering of famous dignitaries perhaps since Lincoln’s inauguration, if not in that century. According to Oakley, Gardner was more interested in creating a stereoscopic slide of himself posing in front of soldiers and spectators on the cemetery grounds (taken by his assistants) than he was of trying to capture Lincoln. The professor maintains that perhaps his greatest discovery was finding a man whom he identifies in the foreground as Gardner in the same photograph in which his Lincoln “accidentally” appears in the background — sort of a modern day version of clicking a photo of yourself on your mobile phone standing in front of the White House and later discovering to your surprise that President Obama accidentally appears in the background hunched over in your digital image while standing next to his seated Secretary of State Kerry, unaccompanied by any security, and completely ignored by a throng of visiting dignitaries and foreign ambassadors who are standing with their backs to him! What would be the odds of that?

They say that the devil is in the details and here Heberton addresses some of his disagreements with the Lincoln identification made by Civil War historian and animation wizard Christopher Oakley:

Why Oakley’s Lincoln is wrong.

  • His Lincoln commands no attention from the crowd
  • No dignitaries are on their feet preparing to greet his Lincoln
  • Men in the crowd have not removed their hats in a show of respect
  • The nose on his Lincoln is “hawk-shaped”
  • The “beard” on his Lincoln’s chin is tucked into his shirt and many shades darker than the rest of his facial hair
  • His Lincoln’s “beard” is just as likely a bow tie
  • His Lincoln is on the far right of the platform seated behind other people when all accounts and the Bachrach photo place Lincoln in the front row and center of the stand

 

Why Heberton’s Lincoln makes more sense:

  • His Lincoln is the center of focused attention from nearly all visible platform spectators
  • Some men on the platform doffed their hats for his Lincoln
  • His Lincoln is positioned near a presidential-appearing eagle-finial topped staff
  • Lincoln wore white gauntlets over his extremely large hands at Gettysburg
  • His Lincoln extends a large white gloved hand in front of a boy’s face seated atop his horse
  • Accounts note that Lincoln was preoccupied with the children at Gettysburg, patting their heads & bestowing kisses
  • His Lincoln is in front of Lincoln’s special escort sent by Sec. of War Stanton to safeguard him, and who rode behind Lincoln in the procession to the cemetery from the center of town
  • Within the shadows of his wide brimmed stovepipe hat is revealed Lincoln’s distinctive bearded chin and a large ear and long nose in the first photo
  • A line of contrast in darkness on his Lincoln’s hat betrays the presence of a hat band which Lincoln wore in honor of his deceased son Willie
  • His Lincoln’s movement throughout the 2nd exposure created an opalescent ghost-image smiling at the camera which is possibly a distorted representation of the long and narrow face of Lincoln with a small bearded chin

Follow Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg on Facebook and Twitter:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abraham-Lincoln-at-Gettysburg/338089372973741?ref=hl

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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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

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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.

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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

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Detail from 1st Gardner photo shows Lincoln’s outlined face and boxed white gloved hand

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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

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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/

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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