Leavenworth County, Kansas

Leavenworth, Fastest Growing County in Kansas

University of Saint Mary Presents 18th Annual Lincoln Event: “The First Visual Presidency”

This is Lincoln’s last portrait, purportedly taken on April 10, 1865—one week before his assassination. It’s also one of the few portraits that shows Lincoln grinning.

The University of Saint Mary presents the 18th annual Lincoln Event, “The First Visual Presidency: How Abraham Lincoln Used Photography for Politics”-exploring the important role photography played in Abraham Lincoln’s political career with Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Senior Historian David C. Ward at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15 (Presidents Day).

“Once again, the University of Saint Mary is very pleased to host its annual Lincoln Event,” said university Provost Dr. Bryan Le Beau. “We are honored to have such a nationally-known historian presenting at this year’s Lincoln Event.

Lincoln was the first American president to come of age during the era of photography. Captured in more than 130 photos, he was the most photographed president of the 19th Century. From the portrait image Lincoln attributes to making him president to the countless images photographer Alexander Gardner snapped, the evening’s presentation will delve into the influential power the 16th president’s portrait had on his presidency and the nation’s solidarity during trying times.

Ward will also explore how Gardner’s photos at Gettysburg influenced one of the most famous speeches ever given by a U.S. president, the Gettysburg Address. The presentation will conclude with a look at the “cracked plate” portrait of Lincoln, taken Feb. 5, 1865 (just two months before his assassination). This was the last formal portrait taken of Lincoln-and only one print was made by Gardner before he discarded the damaged negative.

Attendees will be able to view some of the key pieces of USM’s extensive Bernard H. Hall Lincoln Collection. This includes a rare original copy of the Thirteenth Amendment-the document that abolished slavery-signed by President Lincoln.

About the USM Lincoln Event Series
The University of Saint Mary started the annual Lincoln series in 1999 to spotlight the Hall Lincoln Collection, housed in USM’s De Paul Library. The university offers guided tours of the Lincoln Collection. Call 913-758-6306 to schedule a tour. Over the past 17 years, USM’s primary Lincoln Event has welcomed a variety of luminaries for the featured speaker. Previous guests have included politicians, historians, U.S. Army generals, best-selling authors, and actors who’ve portrayed first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and President Lincoln himself.

The USM Lincoln Event is made possible by Country Club Bank of Leavenworth and Lansing, the long-time Lincoln Event benefactor.

Admission is free. The program will be in Xavier Theatre on the USM main campus in Leavenworth, 4100 South 4th Street. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call 913-758-6329 or go to stmary.edu/Lincoln for more information on USM’s 18th Annual Lincoln Event.