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Lincoln Family Album

Lincoln Family Album

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Mark E. Neely Jr. and Harold Holzer


192 pages, 8.5 x 11, 161 illustrations


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About the Book

Chronicling the private lives of the Lincolns through their personal photographic collection

The Lincoln Family Album offers a rare and revealing glimpse into the private life of Abraham Lincoln and the first family. Showcasing original and previously unpublished photographs collected and preserved by Mary Todd Lincoln and four generations of descendants, the volume includes pictures displayed in a family album when the Lincolns lived in the White House. Chronicled are the lives of the Lincolns’ three sons, including the tragic death of Willie in 1862, the rapid change of Tad during the war, and Robert’s marriage, children, and political career. Soldiers and statesmen of the Civil War, period figures such as Tom Thumb and Henry Ward Beecher, and even the family dog also graced the album that became the nucleus of the Lincolns’ personal collection.

This updated edition, which provides both additional pictures and new introductory materials by renowned Lincoln scholars Mark E. Neely Jr. and Harold Holzer, paints a portrait of the Lincolns’ rise to prominence and the exclusion of poorer relations after the family moved to the nation’s capital. With 150 illustrations and detailed captions, this authoritative and enlightening nineteenth-century history also includes capsule biographies of the Lincolns’ friends and relatives.

In such images as the First Lady in mourning or the assassin John Wilkes Booth, the pictures cannot disguise the painful truth about a family that suffered as many tragedies as triumphs. Willie’s death at the age of eleven abruptly ended Mary and Abraham’s personal collecting, but Lincoln descendants continued the tradition. The last pages of The Lincoln Family Album conclude with the death of Robert Lincoln’s last grandchild, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, in 1985, ending the direct line of Abraham and Mary Lincoln.


Mark E. Neely Jr. is the McCabe Greer Professor in the American Civil War Era at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties as well as The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North,Southern Rights: Political Prisoners and the Myth of Confederate Constitutionalism, and The Insanity File: The Case of Mary Todd Lincoln, coauthored with R. Gerald McMurtry and published by Southern Illinois University Press. Neely is also the coauthor with Harold Holzer of five books about the iconography of Lincoln and the Civil War.

Harold Holzer is the senior vice president for external affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Among the country’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln, he is cochair of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of twenty-five books, including Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President and The Lincoln Mailbag: America Writes to the President, both published by Southern Illinois University Press, and Lincoln at Cooper Union, which won a 2005 Lincoln Prize.


“Neely and Holzer supply a sprightly and incisive commentary that sometimes softens the melancholy of this archive of an extinguished family.”—The Illinois Historical Journal