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Lincoln From Life?

December 2023
1min read

It’s not Lincoln.

Marvelous research has gone into the daguerreotype ("Is This the First Photograph of Abraham Lincoln?” by Harold Holzer, February/March issue), it has excellent provenance, and the computer wizardry is most impressive. But if ever it were true that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, it is in this image. Though the ears, hair, hands, and all may match, it simply does not look like Abraham Lincoln.

Perhaps no face is so firmly etched in the American mind. We love him and we know what he looks like—and he doesn’t look like this. The computers could be right, but even if this is Lincoln, it’s not Lincoln.

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