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Abraham Lincoln, Republican Candidate lithograph

The Classic Cooper Union Pose, Beautifully Rendered!


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This Abraham Lincoln Republican Candidate Print is based on Mathew Brady’s iconic Cooper Union pose.

In October 1859 Abraham Lincoln accepted an invitation to lecture at Henry Ward Beecher’s church in Brooklyn, New York, and chose a political topic which required months of painstaking research.

The carefully crafted speech examined the views of the 39 signers of the Constitution. Lincoln noted that at least 21 of them — a majority — believed Congress should control slavery in the territories, rather than allow it to expand. Thus, the Republican stance of the time was not revolutionary, but similar to the Founding Fathers, and should not alarm Southerners, for radicals had threatened to secede if a Republican was elected President.

When Lincoln arrived in New York, the Young Men’s Republican Union had assumed sponsorship of the speech and moved its location to the Cooper Union in Manhattan. The Union’s board included members such as Horace Greeley and William Cullen Bryant, who opposed William Seward for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Lincoln, as an unannounced presidential aspirant, attracted a capacity crowd of 1,500 curious New Yorkers.

Lincoln’s speech electrified Lincoln’s listeners and gained him important political support in Seward’s home territory. Said a New York writer, “No man ever before made such an impression on his first appeal to a New York audience.”

Also during the visit to New York, Lincoln visited Mathew Brady’s Studio. Brady’s photograph (O-17) of a beardless Lincoln in a smart suit helped give him a sophisticated look that matched his timeless words.

Publications from Frank Leslie’s Weekly to Harper’s Weekly made a full-page woodcut of the Brady portrait to illustrate Lincoln’s ascension as his party’s nominee. When it also became the cover of the published Cooper Union speech  it had an impact as well. Lincoln himself is to have said that it was “Brady and the Cooper Union speech made me President.”

This print was released later that year.

Expertly hand colored, framed in a simple and classic wood frame. It is behind period glass. Evenly-toned. Not examined outside of the frame.

(1860 Presidential Campaign) ABRAHAM LINCOLN / REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR/SIXTEENTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Hartford, CT; E.B.  & E.C. Kellog,1860. Hand-colored; 8 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (sight) Image based on Mathew Brady’s Cooper Union Pose (O-17).