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Abraham Lincoln 1809–1865

Born Hardin County, Kentucky

This photograph played a significant role in shaping the public image of Republican hopeful
Abraham Lincoln during the 1860 presidential campaign. Taken at Brady’s New York gallery on February 27, the carefully crafted portrait revealed a candidate whose dignified bearing stood in sharp contrast to the unflattering characterizations circulated by his detractors.

Brady photographed Lincoln using a large-format glass-plate negative, from which a salted-paper print was made. That print was retouched by one of Brady’s artists to produce a more pleasing image and then rephotographed. The resulting copy negative yielded prints such as this one, which reflected the retoucher’s enhancements.

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