"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Abraham Lincoln

This 1863 cartoon of Lincoln sneaking into Washington entitled "Passage through Baltimore" by Adalbert John Volck hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"The South responded with fury to Abraham Lincoln's election, and seven states, beginning with South Carolina, seceded from the Union during the winter of 1860-61. Tensions were high, and armed conflict seemed imminent. It was in this atmosphere that lincoln made his way from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington for the inauguration in March. When the president-elect reached Baltimore, credible rumors surfaced of a possible assassination attempt. So under advice from detective Alan Pinkerton, Lincoln was hurried on to Washington, arriving early in the morning, with no fanfare. This surreptitious entry caused much mirth among southerners, who sniggered at Lincoln's cowardice. Adalbert Volck's etching mocks the president's timidity, showing Lincoln, still wearing a nightshirt and cap, pulling into Washington in the boxcar in which he had been hidden, an apparition that scares the railyard cat." -- National Portrait Gallery

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