This photograph is one of eight that Alexander Gardner took of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1865), in which the president ruminated on the causes and unforeseen devastation of the war and expressed his wish for a conciliatory reunification process. To this end, Lincoln concluded with:
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
Scholars disagree whether John Wilkes Booth, the popular stage actor and Lincoln’s future assassin, can be identified in Gardner’s photographs of the President’s Second Inaugural Address, which, evidence confirms, he attended.
photographs; political events; politicians; politics; crowds; black and white
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