By ERIN ALLEN
The unearthing of never-before-seen images of the 16th president was a popular story with the media.
“I noticed there were three negatives from the dedication that were taken close together,” John Richter told Washington Post reporter Linda Wheeler about the images of Lincoln at Gettysburg. “That stuck me as odd because of the difficulty and cost of taking pictures back then. I also noticed the camera was not pointed at the stand but more toward the right. I zoomed in, and that was when I saw the figure.”
Richter unveiled the finds at the annual Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg. “A new photograph of Lincoln is very precious and very rare,” Harold Holzer told Wheeler. Holzer is vice chairman of the forum and a leading authority on Lincoln.
Also running stories on Richter’s find were USA Today, CNN, CBS, Newhouse News Service, The Independent, Patriot News (Harrisburg, Pa.), The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Times of Trenton (New Jersey) and Web sites such as eveningsun.com and foxnews.com.
Lincoln was in the news again in January when another online researcher noted three glass negatives on the Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, which he identified as a large crowd gathered at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., for Lincoln’s second inaugural address on March 4, 1865.
“These photos matched [Lincoln’s inauguration] perfectly,” said Carol Johnson, curator of photography, who spoke with Los Angeles Times reporter Johanna Neuman about the previously mislabeled images.
Kyra Philips of CNN, who has used the Library’s online photo archive, called it “pretty awesome.” She added, “It’s an incredible resource … You need to go to the Library of Congress and check it out and see what an incredible archive system we’ve got.”
Print and Web media running stories included Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, St. Paul Pioneer Press and YubaNet.com. Television coverage about the inaugural photos included NBC’s Today Show and The Late Show with David Letterman.
On President’s Day, Feb. 18, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” aired an interview with Johnson that was taped at the Library. “This is the first time that African-American troops had marched in an inauguration,” Johnson pointed out to reporter Kitty Eisele. Said Eisele, “What I know when I look at these faces is what this crowd does not: That in one month, the war will be finished, but five days after that, Lincoln himself will be dead at an assassin’s hand.”
Erin Allen is a writer-editor in the Library’s Public Affairs Office.