Like the scientist who discovered Pluto because he knew where to look, Richter knew from historic descriptions of the ceremonies that the 4-by-7-inch plates of the troop procession ought to have Lincoln in there somewhere. "If I wouldn't have seen Lincoln there, it would have been a surprise," he said.You can check out the images yourself and see if you believe that they are indeed photographs of Lincoln on horseback on the way to the cemetery.
So he asked the center's president, Bob Zeller, to request much larger, more richly detailed computer files. Richter zoomed in tight and found what he was looking for: Lincoln on horseback — or so he believes.
He and Zeller haven't distributed the images until now, so only one official at the Library of Congress has seen them. She hasn't committed to a positive identification, but Holzer, for one, is convinced.
"I don't see any reason to think it's not Abraham Lincoln," he said. "I'm going to start the session by saying, 'You may have seen the most important Lincoln photographic discovery in 40 years — what do you think?' "
Holzer, who wrote The Lincoln Image and co-wrote The Lincoln Family Album and The Confederate Image: Prints of the Lost Cause, said he'll begin a campaign next week to have the stereoviews displayed publicly. He hopes to persuade the Smithsonian Institution to exhibit them so the images are life-size and the public can decide for itself.
And how perfect for me as my history class is talking about the Gettysburg Address today. I love it when the outside world sees fit to contribute to my classroom