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Bryan Eaton is the author and creator of the Abraham Lincoln pictures in full color. In late 2004, Mr. Eaton started developing the prototypes for the Color of Lincoln photos.

Over the next 5 years the library of Lincoln photos was completed as well as the authorship of the book with co-author Lee Rizio.

contact Mr. Eaton at bryan@coloroflincoln.com

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Abraham Lincoln Photographs (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865)

The 16th President of the United States, is one of the most well known Presidents in history, serving from 1861 till his assassination in 1865. He led the country through the turmoil of the American Civil War, while engaging in political, economic and financial modernization.

Abraham Lincoln was one of the first politicians to utilize the photograph as a means of getting his image to the people. The photo of Abraham Lincoln taken by Matthew Brady prior to giving the Cooper Union speech was given credit, in part, by Lincoln with electing him President.

All of Abraham Lincoln photographs were in black and white. Lincoln was the first President to have his picture taken by most of the prominent photographers of his day.

Overall, there are slightly over 120 main photographs of Lincoln and most  taken during the later twenty years of his life. Only six original Linoln photos survie to the present. The Lincoln photos that have survived are highly valued as the remaining are  reproductions and do not maintian the detail and clarity of the originals.  While many originals were destroyed by fire, it was the ambryotypes (paper prints) of the originals that have allowed Lincoln photographs to endure the passage of time.

The first published color Abraham Lincoln photographs images and pictures became available in 2009 with "Color of Lincoln". The book encompasses the "ah-ha" monments from five years of research.  It looks at his interesting life as the "Truly American President", his highly debated religious beliefs, and gives an insight into his fascinating relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln, and also enlightens you about Lincoln's famous Gettysbury speech as seen through eyewitness accounts. Abraham Lincoln's use of photography in publicity is revealed, and the tragic events of Lincoln's death are unfolded through text and color.

abraham lincoln photographs, photo images


LINCOLN - The Movie

Lincoln, the movie by Stephen Spielberg, covers the efforts by Lincoln and the Republicans in Congress to move the issue of slavery from the executive war powers order, the Emancipation Proclamation, to  the passage of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery.  

The story begins after the Amendment had been passed by the Senate and the house ratification of the Amendment sets up a story of political intrigue. The issue of passing the Amendment or ending the war predominates.  Lincoln's delicate balance between politically trying to end the war before the amendment is passed is the key plot line. Lincoln's political prowess is indicated many times, especially when he acknowledges that he made sure that there would be ratification of the amendment even if the South rejoined the Union.  

The movie gives us a  more documentary-like portrayal of Lincoln and his contemporaries. British actor, Daniel Day-Lewis portrays a credible Abraham Lincoln.  He captures Lincoln’s physical posture to his well-documented penchant for breaking into humorous anecdotal stories as he saw fit.  We see a more natural Lincoln and less of a depressed troubled man.  

Mary Todd, portrayed by Sally Field, is offered to us as a more normal person than many historians would portray her.  The character even refers to herself as likely to be called crazy without Mr. Lincoln to frame the perspective of her actions.  Robert Lincoln apparently did not see his mother in such a light, as he readily acknowledge her as “crazy”. Personally, I feel the insistence of being called Mrs. President in formal settings is probably more the reality of the role Mary Todd saw herself in. Field is credible as Mary Todd Lincoln, although I still can’t shake the Flying Nun image, from her television acting days, that I get in ever performance she gives.

The sets were impeccable in placing the characters into the original settings.  From the wallpaper on Lincoln’s office walls to the telegraph office of the War Department Building, it was like stepping back in time.   The battle scenes invoked the intimacy of the war battles. Although, they in reality had the white smoke of the guns and rifles covering much of the actual battle moments,, the intent of the scenes and the brutality of a personal war were conveyed.

Lincoln, the movie, is worth your investment of two hours and twenty-three minutes. 

(Bryan Eaton, November 17, 2012)


 Abraham Lincoln - Antietam September 17, 1863


TIME Magazine colorizes Lincoln: A review

Time Magazine to capitalize on the Lincoln movie has commissioned a SWEDISH artist to colorize Lincoln photos.  Aside from using a non-American for the task, they are a only a little late in bringing this out.  Looking at the colorizations there is nothing new here.  I have seen the main Lincoln photo taken by Alexander Gardner done multiple times.

The Antietam photo is done as if they are standing in the Summer sunshine, instead of the fall weather and turning leaves that September 17, 1863 would have seen. 

Colorization of the earlier Lincoln images border on cartoons with colors far more vibrant than a color photo would bring.  All in all its a me-too effort and not really newsworthy.


Thanksgiving Holiday Proclamation

Prior to 1863, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving without formal structure and each day had it's own day of Thanksgiving It was under Abraham Lincoln's administration that the Thanksgiving holiday was made an official holiday. Lincoln decreed many national days of Thanksgiving prior to the official pronouncement in October, 1863. Secretary of State William Seward actually wrote the proclamation and the original is in Seward's pen. Seward wrote"By the President:" and then added his own name and cabinet title. Lincoln signed the document. 
  Abraham Lincoln - from 1846 to 1865



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Color of Lincoln photos of Abraham Lincoln are now available at the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum

Charleston, SC 1864- An Image of Slavery

Charleston Mills House photograph 1864

Nothing brings home the savagery of slavery as photgraphic images. In this color recreation of a photo of the Mills House in Charleston, South Carolina (circa 1864) amidst the destruction of war. Master sits and slave stands in the sunshine. This image evokes the image of the slave as a beast of burden, with wagon and what appears to be a yoke on the slave. Here in color we can peer into the 19th Century and wonder on the accepted norms of the day.

Abraham Lincoln cartoon

Again, the addition of color provides a dimensionality to the materials of the 1860s in this political cartoon attempting to protray the Lincoln cabinet as incompetents printing money recklessly while running a war that is inpet in its execution. Lincoln is portrayed as more concerned with anecdotes and a thinly veiled barb at the President as a "political joke".

portrait life of abraham lincoln

I'm ever amazed at the coincidences I encounter as part of theColor of Lincoln. In 1910, another Mr. Eaton, Edward Bailey Eaton collected photographs of Abraham Lincoln for the book Portrait Life of Lincoln. Here, one hundred years later, another linkage of Abraham Lincoln to another Mr. Eaton. I still ponder if I am related. - B. Eaton

On First Editions

A very general rule in book collecting is that the first edition is the most desirable and first edition books generally go up in value over time. Color of Lincoln is also the first color rendition of the Lincoln photograph collection. As an example, a 1939 book of lithographs of Abraham Lincoln today is valued at nearly $1600.Color of Lincoln is a limited edition publication which should in time lead to increased value.
This first edition was made and printed in America with a metallic gold embossed black cloth binding and sewn together for lasting durability. The paper is a heavy weight gloss to present the photos in the best possible way. Already, this first edition is on the resale market at almost three times its original sale price. Each Color of Lincoln book is listed as a first edition in the bookplate.

Color of Lincoln is nearing the end of the first edition publication. Based on past demand, our current marketing campaign will likely run out of the first edition book soon. This means that you can seize your opportunity to own this first edition of Color of Lincoln now.

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Amazon.com 5 star review

"The record of the human family to the advent of CHRIST, was the preparation of the photographic plate for its image. All subsequent history is the bringing out of the divine ideal of true manhood."
Six Months at the White House ,The Inner Life of Abraham Lincoln - F. B. Carpenter
Many thanks for these wonderful comments:

~"Thanks so much for your excellent "Color of Lincoln", which I will mention in my Lincolniana."Hon. Frank Williams, Chief Justice, Rhode Island Supreme Court & Chairman, The Lincoln Forum

~".. very beautiful indeed. I found it in time to mention it in the next issue of the LINCOLN FORUM BULLETIN. Congrats again."
    Harold Holzer, Co-Chairman Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Committeee and Lincoln author

~"What a fantastic collection of Lincoln photos in color."       Ron Reitveld, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus - Cal State University Fullerton and Lincoln Scholar

"Love the work! You seem to have mastered photo restoration and enhancement to a degree unmatched anywhere else. ... I can only imagine how many hours you've put into these images. It's a great service to history buffs like me." (J. F. -West Linn, OR )

~" I just purchased my second copy of the "Color of Lincoln" ... Congratulations on this magnificent book and best wishes for much success. I am the great granddaughter of Lincoln's photographer, Samuel G. Alschuler and I want to thank you so much for including the photographs of Lincoln taken by Alschuler in the book. My children and grandchildren were so excited to see the photos in your beautiful book."

~"I love the color photos and the path you have taken to tell the story of the person - Abraham Lincoln. I have found your content on his personal life thoughtful and seemingly well supported by first hand material…bravo for that. " (SR)

~"A unique high quality item" (rated 5 stars on Amazon)(RS)

~The “Color of Lincoln” offers an extraordinary view of this historic American. Bryan Eaton has done an amazing job of bringing Abraham Lincoln to life with his painstakingly detailed rendition of the original Lincoln photographs. Adding color to the Lincoln portraits serves to “complete” the man by affording that touch of life that makes him real and so much more than just a dusty archival photograph. This is a beautiful work of art. Thank you for bringing Lincoln back to life for us to understand in a new and exciting way!" (MH)

~"Color of Lincoln is a most welcome addition to my Lincoln library. It was obviously a labor of love. I wish I had thought of it, but if I had, I wouldn’t have known how to do to it. I am most struck by the enhancement of detail that the addition of color allows, both in up close portraiture, as well as the greatly enlarged portions of panoramic shots. This deserves to take its place alongside the classic Lincoln photo books compiled over the past 100 years. "-(MG)

~"I just received the book yesterday, and it is beautiful! "- (L.D.)

~"Great photographs!" (Ted)

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