Discovery Channel offered one of the most intriguing documentaries of the past few years: someone has located or revealed a photo of Abe Lincoln taken shortly after he died on the bed at the house across from Ford’s Theatre.
The photo is so creepy and weird looking that you may be unconvinced until the lead researcher, Dr. Whitny Braun brings in her big guns: a battery of PhDs and MDs to take us through the investigation.
Yes, she can trace it to the family of Lincoln’s mother in Illinois. It was given to them by a man who had charge of Lincoln’s body for several hours. He apparently allowed the Ulke brothers, professional photographers, to secretly enter the room and take the picture, which is an ambrotype glass plate in a little frame.
They knew Lincoln and lived in the building. It was against the War Secretary’s orders to take photos of Lincoln in death, though many people did this in the 19thcentury.
The brothers had another picture of the bloody bed, empty, that was hidden until the 1960s. This new one is now locked in a bank vault as a legal fight continues over who owns it.
It could be worth millions, as it is the 130thphoto of Lincoln.
The medical explanations for his looks are stunning, as his hands are clenched. It was not a peaceful death as the legend reports. The man suffered with a lead bullet in his brain stem for eight hours. Today they could have saved him, but back then he was doomed.
If you have a sense of the ghoulish and grisly, you will be utterly fascinated by this investigation. The picture is coyly hidden for almost an hour of the documentary—and to see it is shocking.
This is history in a morbid vein. Your choice. We will only show part of the photo out of respect.