A high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph was presented to the Wabash County Courthouse yesterday afternoon during an unveiling ceremony.
The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. Historians consider Hesler’s portrait one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.
The permanent installation is made possible by donations from the Illinois Judges Association (IJA), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and their respective foundations – the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation. Printed on canvas, the image of the beardless Lincoln is encased in a richly stained wood frame and measures 30-inches wide by 40-inches tall.
The four organizations are partnering with the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS), which owns the glass-plate positives of Hesler’s Lincoln portrait. The ISHS is leading a statewide campaign to place a framed copy in a courthouse in each of Illinois’ 102 counties in commemoration of the state’s bicentennial this year.
“This photograph shows Lincoln shortly after he received the national Republican Party nomination for president,” said William Hudson, judge of the 2nd Judicial Circuit. “It is truly an honor to be part of this historic endeavor to celebrate one of Illinois’ most famous lawyers during the bicentennial.”