SIX MONTHS IN THE WHITE HOUSE- WITH ABRAHAM LINCOLN, BY F.B. CARPENTER, 1867

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Item Code: B4890

First edition published in New York by Francis Bicknell Carpenter (August 6, 1830 – May 23, 1900) who was an American painter born in Homer, New York. Carpenter is best known for his painting, “First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln”, which is hanging in the United States Capitol. Carpenter resided with President Lincoln at the White House while completing this project.

According to his memoir, Carpenter was deeply moved by Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, calling it "an act unparalleled for moral grandeur in the history of mankind." Carpenter felt "an intense desire to do something expressive of... the great moral issue involved in the war." Carpenter, having formulated his idea for the subject of the painting and outlined its composition, fortuitously met Frederick A. Lane, a friend who recently had earned a large amount of money. Bankrolled by Lane, and through the influence of Samuel Sinclair of the New York Tribune and Representative Schuyler Colfax of Indiana, Carpenter gained Lincoln's assent to travel to Washington and work with him on the painting. Carpenter met with the President on February 6, 1864, and then began work. Carpenter began with many sketches of Cabinet members and of Lincoln himself, working from life, as Lincoln worked, and from photographs taken by Mathew Brady of Lincoln and members of his Cabinet. Carpenter was given free access to Lincoln's White House office for the former purpose, and the State Dining Room was given him for a studio. On July 12, 1864, Lincoln led his cabinet into the State Dining Room to view the completed work. When Lincoln had the painting exhibited to the public in the East Room of the White House, Carpenter noted that the exhibition was thronged with visitors. Carpenter campaigned for Congress to purchase the painting, enlisting the help of fellow Homer native William O. Stoddard, Lincoln's private secretary. Congress did not appropriate the money. The painting remained in Carpenter's possession until 1877, when he arranged for Elizabeth Thompson to purchase it for $25,000 and donate it to Congress. A joint session of Congress was held in 1878, on Lincoln's birthday, to serve as a reception for the painting, with the artist present.

Cover is brown cloth with title in gold lettering on the spine. Shows scattered smudges and spots with wear on edges. Corners are bent. Book measures 4 ½’ x 7” x 1”. Text contains 359 pages. Binding is tight, pages have yellowed with age, with none loose or missing.

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