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Arts by Dylan: Photograph of Abraham Lincoln on Canvas

Arts by Dylan: Photograph of Abraham Lincoln on Canvas

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On February 9 of 1865 just three days before his birthday (b. feb 12,1809) and two months before he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater President Lincoln sat for his portrait to be taken by photographer Alexander Gardner. 
 
The photograph was taken and during the processing of the photgraph to a print the glass negative cracked.  Mr. Gardner destroyed the original negative and kept the print.  Because there is only one copy of the print ever taken it is considered as one of the most important and historical photographs of Abraham Lincoln ever taken. 
 
The Civil War officially began with an attack on Fort Sumter in 1861 the attack ended on April 14 1861 when the Stars and Stripes was lowered. Sadly the only casualty during the battle happened during the 100 gun salute to the American Flag as it was being lowered in ceremony after the fort was surrendered to the Confederacy.  Private Daniel Hough was mortally wounded in an accident when a round went off prematurely. 
 
To mark the official end of the Civil War; arond the same time as Lincoln sat for this photograph, President Lincoln ordered the Stars and Stripes to be raised in ceremony once again over Fort Sumter.  He specefied that the very same men and officeres who attacked the fort in 1861 (if they were alive) were to be in the front row to see the Stars and Stripes raised in triumph over the confederacy.
 
Earlier in the day on April 14, 1865 the ceremony took place at Fort Sumter without incident.  Lincoln ended the day by attending a showing of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater that evening.  Sadly his life would end the following morning. 

One oddity about history is that there are some single days that we can look back on and unmistackably conclude that specific day changed our present world view and the course of history.  February 12, 1809 is one such day.  Every schoolchild knows that Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin. And I think every schoolchild knows who Charles Darwin was and his theory on evolution.  It took me many years after my formal schooling to learn that Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury England. That was 24 hours in history and two men born into the world and beginning their life stories that changed centuries of our understanding on religion and government.  

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Books by Dylan Carpowich

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