This research study links facts and strong evidence on the discovery of a miniature painting as the earliest portrait ever of Abraham Lincoln. The provenance, genealogy, time-frame, geography, forensics and endless amounts of information are consistent with this being our 16th president.

Just 2" x 2-1/4" and housed in a leather case, this painting is a watercolor on ivory and believed to be circa 1842.

Along with two research colleagues and the support of many, the information assembled is presented on this website designed by my son. It is our hope that the ever-continuing advancement in computer technology and forensic science will allow this to be placed in a proper place in history.

1965 Frank Moore Portrait of Abraham Lincoln
1865 Moore Portrait

1842 Abraham Lincoln Miniature Painting (maybe?)
1842 Miniature Painting

Miniature Painting with Color Detail
1842 Miniature Painting

1863 Alexander Gardner Print
1863 Gardner Print

1865 Alexander Gardner Print
1865 Gardner Print

Lincoln's lower face from images without beard:

1858 Jackson Print Chin Comparison
1858 Jackson Print

1860 Brady Print Chin Comparison
1860 Brady Print

1860 Abraham Lincoln Volk Mask Chin Comparison
1860 Volk Mask

1842 Lincoln Miniature Chin Comparison
Lincoln Miniature

The following information on this miniature is a snapshot of evidence as found in the home of Mildred Downing:

  1. Mildred's great aunt (Ann Curry Todd) was married to Mary Todd Lincoln’s brother (George R.C. Todd). Mildred’s aunt (Mattie Dee Todd) was the first cousin of Robert Todd Lincoln (Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln’s son).
  2. Initials on the miniature case trace direct line of ownership.
  3. Detailed genealogy books confirm provenance, as well as other Lincoln connections.
  4. Miniatures were painted at the time of engagement. This miniature is dated to the same year that Lincoln was engaged. Lincoln’s best friend, (Joshua Speed) was also married that same year... and Joshua had his miniature painted as well.
  5. Lincoln had very distinct facial characteristics... including a cleft chin, square jaw, prominent cheek bones, upper lip cupid’s bow, a “lazy” eye, and unique “philtral” column between his nose and mouth. All features exactly match this miniature.
  6. Important items found in house: genealogy letter referencing Todd/Lincoln connection, historical documents, Mary Todd china doll head, several steamer trunks with strong evidence they were owned by Mary Todd... see link for complete details.

Lincoln Family Ties1. Family Ties

Lincoln Provenance
2. Provenance

Evidence Uncovered
3. Supporting Documents

Joshua SpeedLincoln Engagement Miniature
4. Joshua Speed engagement miniature

Lincoln's Unique Facial Features
5. Lincoln's Distinctive Face

Historical Items Found in House
6. Treasures

Study by Betsy Mathisen.