Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The ever shrinking beard of Abraham Lincoln

This is Lincoln as he was when he started his beard in Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln in Washington right before his inauguration in 1861

Lincoln standing in a picture in 1862...with heavy beard.

This was when his beard was its heaviest in 1862

Lincoln in 1863...His beard starts to change as the White House barbers go to town on it and change it quite a bit from its original form.

Lincoln in 1864, and showing a slightly lighter beard.

The famous "crew Cut" photo of Lincoln taken in later 1864

This picture shows how much less a beard he had around the time of his assassination. Most docu-dramas show Lincoln with a heavy full beard. But as you can see that was not the case.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I'm something of a minor expert in Abraham Lincoln photographs, and it's not really "The ever shrinking beard of Abraham Lincoln," but more like "The ever shrinking and expanding beard of Abraham Lincoln."

One of the things I find most endearing about Lincoln is the fact that he didn't care at all what he looked like. Thus, you can find pictures of him with his hair messy, his clothes in disarray, etc. The fact that his beard changes lengths and is often unkempt only shows this more clearly.

By the way, the Alexander Gardner photo you have captioned as taken “around the time of his assassination,” though originally believed to have been taken on April 10th, was actually taken on February 5th. The true “last known photo” was taken by Henry Warren March 6th, though in this photo he also has a very short beard (and very messy hair). As to what he looked like at the time of his assassination, you’re best bet is to check the famous photo by Jeremiah Gurney, Jr. of Lincoln’s body lying in state in New York City’s City Hall on April 24th. There, too, you can see his beard is quite short.

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