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Alexander Hesler Photograph of Abraham Lincoln

Identifier: MS-1801

Alexander Hesler made this portrait of of Abraham Lincoln while Lincoln was campaigning for President in 1860.


  • 1860

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.1 Linear Feet


Alexander Hesler made this portrait of of Abraham Lincoln while Lincoln was campaigning for President in 1860.

Biographical/Historical Note

Abraham Lincoln was born to Thomas and Nancy (Hanks) Lincoln near Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12, 1809. His family moved to Indiana in 1816 and again to Macon County, Illinois in 1830. Lincoln settled in New Salem, Illinois in 1831, where he worked as a storekeeper (in partnership with William F. Berry) in addition to serving as deputy county surveyor, postmaster, and odd jobber. He also served as a Captain in the Black Hawk War (1832) and studied law in his free time. Lincoln was licensed as an attorney in 1836 and was admitted to the Bar in 1837. In the same year, he moved to Springfield, Illinois where he practiced law with John T. Stuart and later with Stephen T. Logan and William H. Herndon. Lincoln married Mary Ann Todd (1818-1882) on November 4, 1842, and the couple had four children: Robert Todd (1843-1926), Edward Baker Eddie (1846-1850), William Wallace Willie (1850-1862), and Thomas Tad (1853-1871).

In 1847, Lincoln was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives. He served until his term expired in 1849 and did not reenter political life until 1854 when he opposed many of Stephen A. Douglas' policies, including the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Lincoln ran unsuccessfully for Vice President (1856) and for a Senate seat (1858) before being elected President in 1860. Although he was not an abolitionist, he opposed slavery's extension into the territories and unsuccessfully advocated for a gradual emancipation of slaves. After Fort Sumter was fired on, Lincoln called for volunteers to preserve the Union, restored conscription, and suspended habeas corpus. He signed an act freeing the slaves of Washington, D.C. in April of 1862 and issued the Emancipation Proclamation in September of the same year. Lincoln also set down the beginnings of Reconstruction by pardoning Confederate officials who would swear allegiance to the Union and forming loyal Southern state governments. Although his general policy was one of reunion and forgiveness, abolition of slavery was required. John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 while he was watching a play entitled Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater. Lincoln was taken to a residence across the street, where he died the following day.


This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

Special Collections acquired this reproduction from the Chicago Historical Society.

Existence and Location of Originals

The original copy of this photograph is located at the Chicago Historical Society in Chicago, Illinois.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA