Title: Death of President Lincoln, The Nation’s Martyr
Artist: Currier & Ives
Date/Publisher: 1865/Currier & Ives
Print Type: lithograph
Condition: Very toned due to age. Margins trimmed. See scan, burn lines around image from previous matting
Size: 13 3/4" x 10"
Description: Lincoln’s assassination prompted a voluminous flurry of prints of deathbed scenes. Currier & Ives alone published 4 such prints with varying degrees of accuracy. This particular C & I print shows the least number of people in the room at the Petersen house, 12 aside from Lincoln himself. Two of these were never in the room, son Tad and Chief Justice Salmon Chase. Many prints show 20 or more which is unlikely given the small size of the room (just 9.5 feet by 17.5 feet) and with a bed taking up space. If you have ever visited this room it is hard to imagine more than a few people could stand or sit without being shoulder to shoulder . Mary Lincoln was in and out of the room all night but was not present when her husband breathed his last. It is supposed that many prints tried to show the sheer number of people that visited during the night without trying to represent a particular point in time or the actual time of death . This print has a key at the bottom identifying the people in the room including Mary, Tad, Robert, Chase, Secretary of War Stanton, Secretary of the Navy Welles, Senator Sumner, General Halleck, Surgeon General Barnes, Senator McCulloch (actually then Treasury Secretary), Miss Harris (Major Rathbone’s fiancé) and an unknown General.
This print has significant toning of the paper and a distinct darker coloring inside the margins from a previous matting. Scanned image is accurate to the details of condition.