Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
Abraham Lincoln’s Inauguration
A large crowd—including soldiers in the foreground, numerous men in top hats, and several onlookers who've clambered up a tree at left in order to get a better view—watch the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as sixteenth president of the United States in front of the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1861. Lincoln can be faintly seen in the photograph beneath the wooden canopy, his white shirt visible midway between the center and left posts. "A small camera was directly in front of Mr. Lincoln," reported a newspaper, "another at a distance of a hundred yards, and a third of huge dimensions on the right … " The only extant photos were taken from a distance, by an unknown photographer. The construction then taking place at the Capitol can be seen at upper right.