This Might Be the Oldest Photo of a US President

1843 image of John Quincy Adams, then a congressman, is going up for auction
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2017 8:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sotheby's has an interesting item coming up for sale, one that will intrigue history and photography buffs. But they'll need deep pockets to take it home: An 1843 daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams is expected to fetch up to $250,000 when it goes up for sale on Oct. 5, per a post at the auction site. One reason for the interest is that this appears to be oldest known photographic image of a US president, reports the New York Times. Adams was actually out of the White House and serving as a congressman at the time he sat for the image in the DC studio of Philip Haas.

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"I keep getting caught on his cute socks," the head of Sotheby's photo department tells the newspaper. “There is something so human about that.” In addition to the presidential aspect of the image, Sotheby's says this is one of the earliest American daguerreotypes to come up for sale, period. It's possible, however, that an earlier presidential image could someday surface. William Henry Harrison, for example, had his taken in 1841, though the original is not thought to have survived. (Read more John Quincy Adams stories.)

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