[LINCOLN, Abraham]. WARREN, Henry F., photographer. Portrait photograph of Lincoln, taken on the south balcony of the White House, Washington, D.C., late afternoon, 6 March 1865. Imperial-size vignetted albumen photograph, on original card mount, (image: 13¼ x 11 7/8 in.; with mount: 19 x 13¾ in.), imprint of "H.F. Warren Waltham Mass.," with caption: "The Latest Photograph of President Lincoln. Taken on the Balcony of the White House, March 6, 1865."
"THE LATEST PHOTOGRAPH OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN": TAKEN TWO DAYS AFTER THE SECOND INAUGURAL
The very rare, imperial-format version of an important photographic portrait of the 16th President, an image that owes its existence to an unscrupulous strategem employed by the photographer. Warren, a Massachusetts photographer in Washington for the inauguration, very much hoped to get the opportunity to photograph the President. "He was not acquainted with the President and had no connections in Washington. But he had a plan. Warren found out that Tad [the Lincolns' young son] went riding on his pony every afternoon...He ambushed and 'shot' young Lincoln astride his pony and on the following afternoon delivered the prints to Tad. The boy was delighted by them. 'Now,' said Warren, 'bring out your father and I will make a picture of him for you.' Tad dashed off, and in a few minutes appeared on the south balcony of the White House with the President." Lincoln, "posing just to please his son...appears preoccupied..." (Hamilton & Ostendorf, Lincoln in Photographs, pp.213-214). Indeed, in the wake of the inaugural ceremony, the inaugural ball (where he shook the hand of some 6,000 well-wishers) and other events, Lincoln might simply have been dead tired. The strong March wind on the balcony has noticeably ruffled Lincoln's thick shock of hair.