Just a couple of months after the recent discovery of the “new” photographs of what is potentially Abraham Lincoln in the crowd at Gettysburg, comes the announcement tonight from the Library of Congress that “new” photos of the crowd at Lincoln’s Second Inauguration have been discovered!
In the article available at the Library of Congress website, the story is told about how these three “new” glass negatives were discovered. These photos were previously known, but had been mislabeled as the Grand Review of The Armies, or of President Grant’s inauguration ceremony. But then a sharp-eyed customer of the Library noted that these visually similar negatives had drastically different captions in the Library’s Civil War catalogue. Then the curator of photography, Carol Johnson, reviewed the log book and found the caption “Lincoln” in the margins. Careful comparison between the only other known photos (just two existed) show these mislabeled photographic negatives to actually be crowd scenes at Lincoln’s Second Inauguration.
The website containing this article provides links to the other recently identified photographs. None are known to show Lincoln, so technically these are not new Lincoln photos. But they most certainly help historians and other researchers gain more knowledge about the events of that day, just a few short weeks before the tragedy at Ford’s Theater. Per the Library of Congress web page about this discovery, Lloyd Ostendorf’s indispensable “Lincoln’s Photographs” (1998 edition), pages 200-201, was used to help positively identify these new photos. I just finished consulting my volume of the book, and sure enough, the curator is correct. The photos in Ostendorf’s book are from a different angle than these new ones, but the building and crowd scene are identical. What an important find!
What other Lincoln artifacts are out there just waiting to be discovered? I can’t wait to find out!