Is it Abraham Lincoln?


Recently-discovered stereoscopic photos reveal a man in a stovepipe hat in the midst of a procession at Gettysburg. Some claim it is Abraham Lincoln on horseback, on his way to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

Others note the presence of many men in stovepipe hats surrounding Lincoln just after his speech.

The two photos together nevertheless provide a fascinating glimpse of that moment in 1863.

Here’s how the discovery happened, according to USA Today: “John Richter, 51, of Hanover, Pa., had loved Gettysburg since he was a kid; for 20 years had been collecting stereoviews or stereographs, which use special viewers to turn pairs of images into a 3-D view. A board member of the non-profit Center for Civil War Photography, he had always been interested in the Gettysburg stereoviews, available free for the past several years on the Library of Congress website. When he saw negatives 1159 and 1160, taken seconds apart, he said to himself, ‘I think I see something going on.’ Like the scientist who discovered Pluto because he knew where to look, Richter knew from historic descriptions of the ceremonies that the 4-by-7-inch plates of the troop procession ought to have Lincoln in there somewhere. ‘If I wouldn’t have seen Lincoln there, it would have been a surprise,’ he said. So he asked the center’s president, Bob Zeller, to request much larger, more richly detailed computer files. Richter zoomed in tight and found what he was looking for: Lincoln on horseback — or so he believes.”

This is the kind of situation where you believe what you want, and it’ll make you much happier.

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