Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link World History Group RSS feed World History Group Subscriptions Historynet Home page

The Last Photo of Lincoln

By Harold Holzer 
Originally published on Published Online: October 18, 2009 
Print Friendly
2 comments FONT +  FONT -

When Abraham Lincoln's remains arrived in New York City on April 24, 1865, hundreds of thousands of its once-antagonistic citizens gathered to mourn him. Tens of thousands more assembled outside City Hall for a final look at the man few had met—but most had come to know through photographs.

Just before the doors opened to the public, photographer Jeremiah Gurney set up his camera on a narrow catwalk high above the building's rotunda and took this breathtaking picture of the open coffin, with Admiral Charles Davis and General Ed­ward Townsend guarding either end. Though he had been dead nine days, Lincoln's heavily em­balmed features were still recognizable.

In its own time, the picture never came to light. When Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton learned of its existence, he ordered Maj. Gen. John A. Dix to seize and destroy all prints and negatives. Dix, however, sent one copy to Stanton, who spared it.

Years later, Stanton's son gave it to Lincoln's former private secretary, John G. Nicolay. But not until 1952, rummaging through the Nicolay Papers in Springfield, Ill., did student Ronald Rietveld (later to become a Lincoln scholar) discover the sensational, long-lost picture—the world's very last look at Abraham Lincoln.


2 Responses to “The Last Photo of Lincoln”

  1. 1
    Billy says:

    props to ronald reitveld for finding this photo!!!go lincoln

  2. 2
    kenwood says:

    Abraham Lincoln–America's kindest and most humble President.

    How we miss him and his vision of what was to be!

    Mercy and forgiveness to the South; unification of all.

    It was not to be….

Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Related Articles

History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet? is brought to you by World History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
World History Group

World History Group Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer!
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2015 World History Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy