Abraham Lincoln in Color (1865)

This is a very famous photo of President Lincoln from February 5th, 1865. The President would be assassinated a short two months later at Ford’s Theatre. I also found a colorized photo of the one taken by Alexander Gardner. Compare the two of them … the colorized one looks amazing, and kind of spooky.

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Here’s the color one again for a closer look. Wow.

– click image for more –
Abraham Lincoln colorized (1865)
Abraham Lincoln colorized (1865)

This was another gem from Shorpy, posted by their user, Tacoma.

  • American Photo Colorizing.com features 100s of realistic, colorized antique and historical photo downloads. There are over 100 of the American Civil War. You can have your mueum or family photos restored and colorized, too.

  • Wow, totally creepy. I doubt Lincoln could get elected in the era of television. He looks like near death. Which, sadly, I guess he was.

    • Charles

      this is the funniest comment i’ve ever seen. I literally laughed out loud at work.

      • Dave

        It’s not Abe that makes the photo so creepy – but the colorizing. Check out American Photo Colorizing .com to see what colorizing can look like (another shameless plug). We have 100 colorized photos of Abe Lincoln and the Civil War in our Photo Store. I think you’ll find Honest Abe doesn’t look like Creepy Abe, after all.

    • Patrick

      He had the weight of the Civil War on his face. He made the decision to send troops South and the war took 4 years to resolve. He probably never thought it was take that long, and during thise years he would take personal heart felt responsibility for so many soldier’s deaths.

    • Matthew Rothenberg

      Ever seen what FDR looked like during his last presidential campaign? A war will take it out of you.

  • For me, this remarkable color photo has an effect much like that of a fine, black and white, modern portrait of a person I know or have seen only in color photos. Such portraits capture our interest by providing a new and different look at a face we think we know, but have never before seen in this way. So we look more closely than before, for overlooked features or nuances of expression we might have missed. This colorized portrait of Lincoln is powerful in its ability to draw the viewer in to look, yet again and more closely, at a face we know, but, at the same time, have never seen before. It emphasizes Lincoln’s humanity in a startlingly new and arresting way.

  • Nice color pic, but he looks dirty & grungy.. Could have combed his hair & cleaned the dirt & grime off of his face prior to pic

  • Diane

    The grunge is an artifact of the colorization. The hair is part of the style. Where do you come off making comments on what is literally of another time and culture?

    • cb

      I tend to agree about the grunge. Colorized Lincoln photos were introduced in 2009 with the book Color of Lincoln and the associated website (http://coloroflincolln.com). The photos from the 1860s can be colorized with a mor natural look and relative brilliance to the photos of today.

  • Bryan Eaton

    There is a whole website with color photos of Abraham Lincoln – http://www.coloroflincoln.com

  • Kelly Ormsby

    Was Lincoln knitting?

    • Popeye D. Saylorman

      No…he had just finished sharpening a #2 pencil.

  • mloehrer

    Hey, this is cool, but your facebook like is broken–you need a ., right now it’s facebookcom/whatever

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    This a great Kodak moment shot with Kodak Kodachrome of Abe in 1865!