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Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Cast of Lincoln's Hands

The hands that held the fate of the nation
These original casts of Abraham Lincoln's hands were taken by Leonard W. Volk on May 20, 1860, two days after the Republican Party nominated the former Illinois congressman as their presidential candidate. Volk wanted the right hand to be grasping an object, so the obliging Lincoln went out to his woodshed and cut a piece of a broom handle that was incorporated in the original cast. Compared to his left, Lincoln's right hand also appears somewhat swollen--the result of the candidate shaking hands with so many congratulating supporters.

Abraham Lincoln, born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, KY; died April 15, 1865, Washington, DC

Learn more!
· Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President, 1861-1865
· Political Campaigns
· "Lincoln and Liberty Too," Abraham Lincoln campaign song
· "Excerpt from the Emancipation Proclamation"
· The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden - An NMAH Virtual Exhibition

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