February 9, 1864: Mr. Lincoln Has His Picture Taken


Mr. Lincoln took advantage of the winter lull in the War on February 9, 1864 to go, along with his son Tad, to Mathew Brady’s National Photographic Art Gallery in Washington DC to have his picture taken.  The manager of the Gallery was Anthony Berger who took the photographs that day.

The above picture was immensely popular after Lincoln’s death, showing the closeness between Lincoln and Tad.  Sadly, Tad would only outlive his father by six years, dying suddenly at 18, his death being variously ascribed to tuberculosis, pleurisy and congestive heart failure.

Lincoln Penny

The above profile shot was taken by Lincoln that day and served as the basis for the image on the Lincoln penny.


Perhaps the best known Lincoln, photograph, this image graced the old $5.00 bill.  Lincoln’s son Robert said that it was the photograph that best captured what his father looked like.

Lincoln was always fascinated by technology during his life, and this fascination ensured that he took advantage of the cutting edge technology of photography when he was President, to the joy of students of him down through the generations.