Saturday, February 10, 2007

Is It Honestly Abe?

Monday is the last day to bid on The Kaplan Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln. The starting bid is $5 million, which "will seem trifling compared to its realizable value after confirmation by the Lincoln scholarship community."

Lincoln scholar the late Professor Elton Trueblood had no doubt the young man of the daguerreotype was Lincoln. On the other hand I am aware of several well known and influential Lincoln authorities who have declared the opposite view: Illinois State Historian Thomas F. Schwartz, and former President of the Lincoln Group of New York, Richard Sloan.

To my knowledge there has never been a more controversial subject amongst Lincoln scholars as this matter. Accordingly, it seems fitting and proper that all the known evidence (both pro and con) should be put up on the Internet for all to see. The analyses can be examined at
If you're hesitant to fork over such a large sum for a portrait lacking provenance and authentication, don't worry. The website offers both a made-up history of the picture, and a plastic surgeon's professional opinion that it is indeed Lincoln. The doctor notes that Abe "underwent a noticeable change in his physical appearance beginning in January 1841 as a result of a grave emotional crisis," which explains why the daguerreotype looks nothing like him.

(Thanks to Sharon Sergeant for sending this item my way.)



Thank you for this post. It actually is quite a fascinating subject. I was especially interested that the plastic surgeon reviewing the photograph also did his homework and reviewed documentary information. It has made a believer out of me.



Does this mean that you will be placing a bid?


Ah, alas no.

I'm hoarding my cash hoping that will go public and I can be the first to buy shares.



I won't give you $5 for that portrait. Kaplan's experts did not do their job. The ears don't lie!!! Lincoln's ears are placed at a more upright angle from the head, they are also set significantly and very noticeably higher above the jaw line, his lobes are far larger, and his intertragic arch (the opening just above the lobe) is set much higher. These features do not change on a person, not due to trauma of any kind. Look at the photos of both men's ears and my article about this debate at: The photos are on the lower half of the page.

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