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Lincoln Conspirators Execution, Albumen Photographs: The Scaffold & Adjusting the Ropes

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Description

Two albumen photographs from the execution of the Lincoln Conspirators.

The Scaffold, a contemporary albumen photograph of the scaffold, before the arrival of the Lincoln Conspirators.

Four empty chairs sit atop the scaffold, as reporters and witnesses gather. Soldiers guarding the event lounge on top of a wall, while a rotund man in a top-hat inspects the scaffold beneath.

This evocative image is one of the more difficult of the hanging series to find!

With…

Adjusting the Ropes clearly shows The executioner, Christian Rath, places the noose on David Herold’s neck, while George Atzerodt looks on in horror. Mary Surratt, at the far left, is already trussed, with her hood in place. Her dress has been tied to her legs to prevent it from flying up at the drop.

Soldiers line the wall above, while Corporal William Coxshall, assigned to help spring the traps, hangs onto a beam below: “Then the clergy took over, talking what seemed to me interminably…I became nauseated, what with the heat and waiting, and taking hold of the supporting post, I hung on and vomited.”

(Lincoln Conspirators – Executions) “Adjusting the Ropes” by Alexander Gardner. Late 19th Century Albumen Photograph taken from the original glass plate negative. 6-1/4 x 4-1/2 in. placed on a titled backing sheet. 

(Lincoln Conspirators – Execution)  “The Scaffold” by Alexander Gardner. Late 19th Century Albumen Photograph taken from the original glass plate negative. 6-1/4 x 4-1/2 in., placed on a titled backing sheet.  

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