The month of August appears to have regularly been a busy time for Abraham Lincoln. He won a seat in the Assembly in August of 1834 at the age of 24 and was re-elected three times in the Illinois August elections. His son Robert Todd Lincoln was born on August 1, 1843. And in 1858 he embarked in August on the first of a series of seven three-hour debates with Stephen Douglas, his opponent in the campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Given the variety of events, both personal and political, that marked Lincoln’s August days, it seems a fitting time to consider the many aspects of his life and death that are conveyed in pictures. In support of what could (and for some researchers, has) become a lifelong study of Lincoln imagery, we’ve recently combined and expanded two earlier reference aids – one having to do with images of Lincoln and his family, and one having to do with his assassination – into one handy research guide.
The guide features a gallery showing a selection of twenty-two images, including the earliest known photographic likeness of Lincoln circa 1846, through his inauguration in 1861, and portraits of him taken weeks before he was assassinated. The gallery also includes portraits of his immediate family.
A second gallery offers images relating to the sites and people connected to Lincoln’s assassination, including an artist’s depiction of the event.
A bibliography points researchers to publications that discuss how Lincoln has been portrayed in images—an invitation to reflect on how pictorial representation helped form impressions of the man in his own time and in ours.
- Explore the guide, Abraham Lincoln in Prints & Photographs.
- The guide represents a selection of frequently requested images. View more representations of Lincoln and his life in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.
- The Prints & Photographs Division guide points to some of the Library’s other rich resources relating to Abraham Lincoln, including a more general guide, Abraham Lincoln: A Resource Guide.
- Lincoln has regularly been the subject of symposia and lectures at the Library of Congress, as well as the inspiration for presentations in video form. Have a look and listen!