Photo of Lincoln and Douglas Together?

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#1
Lincoln Douglas.jpg

VICTORVILLE — The sixth-plate daguerreotype, presumably from the 19th Century, seemed inconsequential at first.

At center, a white building overwhelmed the setting. Two people peered out a second-story window. A rigid-looking group stood near the front entrance partially concealed by 150-plus years of grime.

But a black, stove-pipe hat caught Keith Collins’ attention.

“I was on eBay, and all I could see was the top of this hat,” he told the Daily Press. “I said, ‘Jeez, that kinda looks like Lincoln.’”

The hunch spurred Keith Collins’ $1,259 purchase of the photograph in May. Using a chemical process learned from a friend, he removed the collected dirt, which revealed a tall man in a white suit under the hat, as well as a shorter man on the photo’s right side.

Keith Collins, 56, of Sylmar, and his brother, Brian, 46, of Victorville, say the men are Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, competitors for Illinois’ U.S. Senate seat in 1858. It’s one of the only known photos of the political candidates taken during a series of seven famous debates held throughout the state that year, according to the brothers.
http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20...-stephen-douglas-photo-is-from-famous-debates
 

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archieclement

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#2
We’re not saying this 100 percent,” Brian Collins said. “We’re saying we believe it’s Lincoln and Douglas based on the evidence and our experience. We want it out there in the public so people can discuss it and form their own opinions.”

I'd agree its probably a good thing to not say 100%..................
 
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#6
I find this a little hard to believe. Douglas was short and fat. Does the building come from the time period. just a question. I have a problem with the photo. it seems period, but is it.
Douglas wasn't that fat (at least not in terms of Winfield Scott fat), at least not to the point it would stand out in a photo of some distance or even front on.
 
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#8
It is a period photo, of people wearing clothing of the period, gathered before a building....Without provenance, we do not know why the people were so gathered and we do not know who is in the photo.....To me, it's just that simple. I think he paid too much money in return for too little information and he is making outlandish claims......My two cents....
 
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#9
http://www.galleryhistoricalfigures.com/figuredetail.php?abvrname=StephenADouglas

I am not sure how close the figure is to Douglas. I found this site online while looking for some pictures. It was based on some information about him. A lot of money for that image. I can't see the Lincoln connection in it. Stovepipe hats were popular headgear. I think Lincoln wore a white suit at one of the debates, but I am not 100% on this. I just remember the televised reenactment of the debates.
 

Bruce Vail

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#14
Fun story.

Seems to me the rather distinctive school building holds a clue. Was the building erected before 1858? Is it in one of the debate towns? Is there any record of a Lincoln visit (surely with Lincoln's fame in 1865, some record of the 1858 visit would have been made)?
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#15
I genuinely love these possibilities. The thing is, with all the will in the world, hoping so much it could be possible, without something connecting the pieces it's very difficult? These poses, seemingly administration and students, were around? Here's another- I remember thinking OH could it be Lincoln? Around a million years ago.

Honestly not being argumentative. Lincoln/Douglas debates were huge- where politics met the circus. People came from more miles around then we would, with cars, to see them. If a photographer had these two men in the same frame, wouldn't he have cashed in on the event by posing them together and making it obvious who they were? And would Douglas have allowed himself a spot in the background?




school soldier principal.jpg
 
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#16
I would think the building might still be in existence as the debate towns are some of the older towns in Illinois. The towns were: Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Quincy and Alton.
Has anyone checked the contemporary newspapers from those towns? If that picture is indeed of Lincoln and Douglas, then a similar picture may well have appeared in the local paper, or at least, the building where they appeared together may be named, which could conceivably lead one to a picture of the building. I'd say the question is not completely settled until the building has been identified. I'd also opine that, given the price paid for the photo, there was at least one other bidder besides the winning bidder who thought there was something pretty important about that photo.
 
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#17
Has anyone checked the contemporary newspapers from those towns? If that picture is indeed of Lincoln and Douglas, then a similar picture may well have appeared in the local paper, or at least, the building where they appeared together may be named, which could conceivably lead one to a picture of the building. I'd say the question is not completely settled until the building has been identified. I'd also opine that, given the price paid for the photo, there was at least one other bidder besides the winning bidder who thought there was something pretty important about that photo.
It has become my life's duty - although I never asked for it - to keep repeating on CWT, over and over again:

Newspapers did not print photographs u til the late 1890s. There was no process which allowed the conversion of the photographic images of the day (ambrotype, tintype, daguuerrotype) into plates which could be used in printing presses

Any illustration in a printed medium was done using an etched plate, hand created by artists.

Thus this "photo" will be found in zero old newspapers.
 

John Hartwell

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#18
I'd say the question is not completely settled until the building has been identified.
Probably not 'completely settled' -- might put it in the 80-85% range, though.
Aside from the tall guy in the stovepipe, and perhaps 1 or 2 ladies, the figures all seem to be children. And the proposed "Douglas" is 97.3% NOT-Douglas, whatever his age.
 
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#20
Probably not 'completely settled' -- might put it in the 80-85% range, though.
Aside from the tall guy in the stovepipe, and perhaps 1 or 2 ladies, the figures all seem to be children. And the proposed "Douglas" is 97.3% NOT-Douglas, whatever his age.
I would add that the females - they do appear small for adults - are mostly wearing aprons, like they were household workers, and the males seem to be wearing work clothes, certainly more casual hats.

Neither of these is what one would expect when attending an important public event. No Sunday best, no hoop skirts, nothing but a bunch of apparently younger people taking a break fromscrubbing floors and picking out stalls.
 



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