Lincoln's Funeral? Rare Photos May Capture the Moment

Retired accountant spots telling pics on archive website
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2014 5:25 PM CDT
Lincoln's Funeral? Rare Photos May Capture the Moment
Abraham Lincoln, 1846 or 1847.   (Wikimedia Commons)

Two photographs hidden in the National Archives for decades may be rare images of Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession in New York City, the Washington Post reports. They capture the blur of a big black object—possibly a horse-drawn carriage—and hundreds of men, some with bowed heads, outside what may be New York's historic Grace Church on Broadway. Paul Taylor, a retired federal government accountant, spotted the photos on an Archives Flickr photo-sharing site and "was just struck by the scene," he said.

Believing the black blur "had to be" Lincoln's hearse, Taylor did research until he identified the church and connected the images to Lincoln's "death pageant." The funeral was viewed by millions of people in Baltimore, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and New York, often with the president's lid kept open—"not a pleasant sight," reported the New York Times. A Lincoln-funeral expert calls the photo find "a big deal," but an archivist says the pics may depict "other processions, maybe even other funerals" from that period. "I don't think its possible to establish this without any doubt." See the photos at the Post, or a stunning colorized shot of Lincoln at CBS Chicago. (More Abraham Lincoln stories.)

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