Commander in Chief & Great Emancipator


President Lincoln at home, reading the scriptures to his wife and son. New York: Currier and Ives, 1865.

This Currier and Ives hand-colored lithograph was based on a photograph taken of Lincoln and his son Thomas (Tad) Lincoln (1853-1871) by Anthony Berger in Mathew Brady’s Washington gallery on 9 February 1864.  The original photograph was of Lincoln viewing an album or scrapbook, not reading from scriptures. Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) was added to the engraving by Currier and Ives; in fact she and her husband were never photographed together. In the wake of Lincoln’s assassination, Currier and Ives perhaps thought it would be more appropriate to give the image a religious tone. The photograph of the president and his son spawned other prints of a similar nature, several of which included the entire Lincoln family.  The Lincoln’s had four children, Robert Todd (1843-1926), Edward (Eddie) Baker (1846-1850), William (Willie) Wallace (1850-1862), and Tad.

Lincoln Collection *2008-256   Source unknown.