Lincoln Death Photo

Status: Authentic
image In my hoax photo gallery I display a picture of the body of Abraham Lincoln lying in a casket and explain that the photo is fake because the army didn't allow any photos of Lincoln's body to be taken. But I just received an email from Rich noting that there is one authentic picture of Lincoln's corpse, and he's right. A photographer did manage to snap a shot of the dead Lincoln as he was lying in state in Manhattan's City Hall. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton had the photograph confiscated, and it was supposed to be destroyed. But instead, Stanton kept it, and it was found by historians almost 100 years later. It's the only true Lincoln death photo in existence.

History Photos

Posted on Tue Sep 20, 2005


Some magazine I subscribe to, maybe American Heritage had on article on this a few years ago. If I recall correctly, according to the article the government commissioned a photographer, but changed their minds after seeing the images and ordered them destroyed. This one is all that survived from that set.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  09:07 AM
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  09:53 AM
I can't see him... I just see two guys standing around.
Posted by Kara  in  Scottsdale, AZ  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  10:36 AM
That's real. If you need any more clarity, check out the Lincoln Museum in Chicago or somewhere.
Posted by Yaanu  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  02:34 PM
Yeah, I can see a casket in the picture, and a couple of people standing near it (guarding it?), but I can't see Abe.

Sort of disappointing, after such a big buildup.
Posted by Big Gary in Dallas  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  04:32 PM
Hey guys! Abes in the picture, he's IN the BOX!!!You just can't see him...
Posted by Christopher  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Wed Sep 21, 2005  at  05:09 AM
Yea, you can see Abe - at least his black beard shows up just above the top white oval on the side of the casket.
Posted by Chicken George  in  Kansas  on  Fri Sep 23, 2005  at  11:01 AM
My grandmother whom past away many years ago was an antique collector. She DID have a photo of Abe Lincoln on his death bed. He was surrounded by his cabinet members Mrs. Lincoln and supposedly his Physician Dr. Gurley. The photos were in a vault when she died, but it was in a nearby town and nobody knew where. I do have a copy of the newspaper article of her and the Photos. I dont know the name of the paper,but she lived in Thompson Ohio. Go figure!
Posted by mary  on  Wed Nov 16, 2005  at  05:02 PM
I have this same photo.It was published in The Washington Post on Saturday Feb. 11, 1967 with caption:Begin Quote:"RARE PHOTO-Photo was presented to Rockford, III, College yesterdays.It is the only known photo of his body and made by Garvey and Son, New York photographers, who later destroyed the original plate and all prints from it except this one.The picture was first published in Life magazine in 1952 and later in a book "Lincoln:A Picture Story of His Life."The phot was given to the college by John Davis Lodge, former Ambassador to Spain.:End Quote
Posted by Johnson  in  Florida  on  Sat Feb 04, 2006  at  02:15 PM
By having same photo, I mean I have a copy of
the Feb. 11, 1967 "The Washington Post" which
published a clearly seen Abe in box 5x6" photo with article about it.
Posted by Johnson  in  FL  on  Sat Feb 04, 2006  at  02:20 PM
um, it is real.

i'm watching something right now called "Snatching Lincoln's Body" on the History Channel. and they were just talking about it! Yes,that IS the ONLY remaining photo of Lincoln's body. So DON'T say its fake, when everyone knows its not!
Posted by itsreal!  on  Sat Feb 21, 2009  at  03:34 PM
Wondering if Mary up there in the comments section who has the grandmother with the supposid picture of lincoln on his deathbed can provide more information on if this is real or not? If such a picture might exsist in a vault somewhere etc... Where can i find a link to the newspaper article or see the article for myself about it? Let me know.

Im going to go out on a limb and say noone was allowed to take a picture inside the peterson house during his last hours PERIOD. plain and simple..
Posted by Casey  in  Tampa Florida  on  Sat Feb 21, 2009  at  04:53 PM
I watched the Snatching Lincoln's Body too. This is a real photo and if you look closely you can sorta see him. Abraham Lincoln was awesome...
Posted by Jilly  in  Saturn  on  Wed Mar 11, 2009  at  02:40 PM
Casey - If you would like I could dig out the article and email it to you. My mother is coming to visit this weekend and I can ask her if she knew what paper printed the article.
Posted by Mary  in  AZ  on  Thu Apr 02, 2009  at  11:15 AM
Yes please email me the link to the newspaper article or someway of showing this...

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Casey  in  Tampa  on  Thu Apr 02, 2009  at  11:40 AM
I personaly know that a photo of the dead Lincoln does exist. I printed it from a glassine negative archived at the then Naval Photographic Center in Anacostia, Washingtone D.C. dated April 1901
Posted by jan  in  winchester,ve  on  Sun May 03, 2009  at  11:15 AM
Hey Mary i got your email with the news article.. Is there any chance we can locate and contact the newspaper that your mother may have known the name of? Or find out anyone who MIGHT know what bank or vault the photos were stored in? If this is legit and other photos exsist from inside the Peterson house during or after the death of lincoln these would be of great historical value and significance and im sure historians and the government would love to have copies of them for a museam and such etc.. Please let me know as i will do the leg work and research and travel if need be if this is legit.. Thanks alot

Posted by Casey  in  Tampa  on  Sun May 03, 2009  at  01:40 PM
Hi Casey

I am sorry I have asked my Mother about the article and if she knew what the paper was called, and she doesn't know. She said that my Grandmother lived in Thompson Ohio so she thought it might be there or the Ashtabula area. As for the vault nobody (that we know of) ever found the keys of paperwork for one when she died. I don't believe the family spoke to her much.

Sorry I couldn't help more...
Posted by Mary  in  United States  on  Sun May 03, 2009  at  07:24 PM
Hey Mary Please email me directly so i can contact you outside of this website. I have a couple of ideas on how to track down more information. Also if you could i seemed to lost the links and pictures you sent me with the pictures of your gradmother from the newspapers.. Please resend them as well. Thanks again for your continued help.
Posted by Casey  in  Tampa  on  Sun May 03, 2009  at  09:18 PM
You can find a much clearer print of this photo in the book "Stealing Lincoln's Body" by Thomas J. Craughwell.
Posted by s.davis  on  Sat May 23, 2009  at  09:27 PM
I would have to say I'm a really great Abraham Lincoln fan, and I'm only 10! He was a great president and he freed the slaves. In a way he was like Sojourner Truth. I have to say I was so mad when I found out that John Wilkes booth was my picture icon on Facebook! I didn't know!!!!!!!

If you like my article please reply of it!!!!!

Alicia Pederson Age 10 of Minnesota
Posted by Alicia pederson  in  minnesota  on  Sun May 24, 2009  at  10:39 PM
Actually, a fourteen year old boy who was thumbing through books in an Illinois Library found the photo that you see here.
Posted by Jackie  on  Fri Sep 18, 2009  at  02:38 PM
yall need to stop bieng so scary and show da dude body and be a hero for once and not let the fact of losing your job get the best of you,because when you do the right thing and and give the people want they want then you will understand better of what i am talking about. i really can care less but just do it,and,feel good about it.thank you!
Posted by lauren flemming  in  columbia south carolina  on  Wed Dec 09, 2009  at  11:24 AM
Posted by abraham lincoln  on  Thu May 13, 2010  at  08:37 AM
It is certainly a real photo of Lincoln lying in state in New York City. Here's an article that describes the photo and its history:

And I've posted a copy of this photo that is cropped and enlarged to provide at least a blurry view of Lioncoln's face:

There are no photographs of Lincoln lying on his deathbed in the Peterson House (among many other reasons, there would have been no room there to set up the large equipment needed to take such a photo). But there are many paintings and illustrations that depict this scene. This is probably what Mary is referring to.
Posted by James  in  Brooklyn, NY  on  Thu May 13, 2010  at  10:46 AM
I am a relative if one of the guards. I am looking fir more information on these 2 men who watched over Lincoln as he lied in state. Thank you!
Posted by Emily Ewart  in  Alabama  on  Sun Jul 11, 2010  at  12:19 PM
Casey - If you would like I could dig out the article and email it to you. My mother is coming to visit this weekend and I can ask her if she knew what paper printed the article...
Posted by d  on  Mon Nov 29, 2010  at  05:09 AM
A photographer did manage to snap a shot of the dead Lincoln as he was lying in state in Manhattan's City Hall
Posted by kayabaşı  in  magicbullet  on  Thu Apr 28, 2011  at  02:43 PM
I bought, at a yard sale a picture of President Lincoln, laid to rest. Could it possibly be real?
Posted by pam fleck  in  munising, michigan  on  Fri Jun 29, 2012  at  02:43 PM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.