Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery remains temporarily closed. To view the status of the Smithsonian’s other museums and the Zoo, visit:

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Usage Conditions Apply
Thomas Le Mere
Mathew Brady Studio, active 1844 - 1894
Abraham Lincoln, 12 Feb 1809 - 15 Apr 1865
Apr 17, 1863
Albumen silver print
Image/Sheet: 8.6 x 5.4 cm (3 3/8 x 2 1/8")
Mount: 9.8 × 6.2 cm (3 7/8 × 2 7/16")
Mat: 35.6 x 27.9 cm (14 x 11")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
Exhibition Label
“All quiet along the Potomac”
Mathew Brady’s cameraman, Thomas Le Mere, thought that a standing pose of the president would be popular. Lincoln wondered if it could be accomplished in one shot, and this is the successful result. It was taken on April 17, 1863, an interregnum after an eventful winter that saw the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1 and a further reshuffling of the command of the Army of the Potomac following the disastrous Union defeat at Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. Joseph Hooker replaced the hapless Ambrose Burnside, refitted the army, and prepared to move south. Striking Lee at Chancellorsville on May 1, Hooker obtained a strong initial advantage but was undone by Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson’s audacious flank attack on the Union right, just as the sun set on the battle’s first day. Demoralized, Hooker withdrew, allowing Lee to invade the North for the second time.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
United States\District of Columbia\Washington