Supposedly, President Lincoln is discernible in this carte de visite image.
A collector believes a photograph from a private album of Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant shows President Abraham Lincoln in front of the White House and could be the last image taken of him before he was assassinated in 1865. If it is indeed Lincoln, it would be the only known photo of the 16th president in front of the executive mansion.
Grant’s 38-year-old great-great-grandson, Ulysses S. Grant VI, had seen the picture before, but didn’t examine it closely until late January. Although authenticating the 2 1/2- by 3 1/2-inch photo beyond a shadow of a doubt is difficult, several historians said the evidence is compelling.
An inscription on the back reads, “Lincoln in front of the White House.” Grant believes his great-grandfather, Jesse Grant, the general’s youngest son, wrote the inscription. The backmark was for photographer Henry F. Warren. In addition, the carte de visite bears a government tax stamp that was issued for such between 1864 and 1866.
Photographer Warren’s trip to Washington to photograph Lincoln after his second inauguration in March 1865 is well-known. Lincoln was killed in April, so if the photo does show the President, it could indeed be one of the last taken of him.
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