Andrew Carnegie


Carnegie Building

Only Known Photo of Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg Address, Lincoln, closeup

Click photo to view detail

  • These photos show the crowd around a platform at Gettysburg and a detail from that photo showing President Lincoln on the platform. They were made from the original glass plate negative at the National Archives. The plate lay unidentified in the Archives for some fifty-five years until in 1952, Josephine Cobb, Chief of the Still Pictures Branch, recognized Lincoln in the center of the detail, hatless and probably seated. To the immediate left (Lincoln's right) is Lincoln's bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, and to the far right (beyond the limits of the detail) is Governor Andrew G. Curtin of Pennsylvania. Cobb estimated that the photograph was taken about noontime, just after Lincoln arrived at the site and before Edward Everett's arrival, and some three hours before Lincoln gave his now famous address. This is the only known photo of Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address.

  • Lincoln had a far-reaching and penetrating voice that was high pitched and tended to become even higher when he became excited. It could become so shrill it was even unpleasant to hear. This voice was a great asset for a President, however, because it could be heard from all points in a crowd. For example, every person in the 15,000 who attended the Gettysburg Address probably could hear him clearly.

  • Lincoln was 6'4" tall, at a time when the usual height of adult men in the United States was 5'6". Even more astonishing, Lincoln grew to this height by age 17. Although an excellent athlete, he was lean all his life. At age 7 was described as a "tall spider of a boy" and as an adult he weighed between 160 and 185 pounds. Sitting, he was no taller than the average man because Lincoln's height came from his legs; these legs sprouted from size 14 feet. (His footwear had to be custom made.) Lincoln also had disproportionately long arms and fingers. However, a cast of his hands shows them to be muscular and powerful, not the slender hands of Marfan syndrome. Lincoln's height, long legs, leanness, and thin face are skeletal features of Marfan syndrome, a genetically inherited disease. Evidence for other features of Marfan syndrome, such as ocular or cardiovascular anomalies, in Lincoln has been presented, but found weak. In 1959, Marfan syndrome was diagnosed in a distant relative of Lincoln's (a third cousin four times removed). Sharing 1/4096th of Lincoln's genetic material, it is difficult to make any conclusions based on this test. Looking at all the evidence, scientists cannot come to a definite conclusion whether Lincoln had the condition or not.

  • A dentist broke off part of Lincoln's jaw bone while pulling a tooth -- without anesthesia.

  • Lincoln was color blind.

Doctor Zebra.
"President Abraham Lincoln," available from;
Internet; accessed 7 February 2005.

Library of Congress.
"The Only Known Photograph of President Lincoln at Gettysburg," available from;
Internet; accessed 7 February 2005.


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