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    William H. Seward (1801-72) Photographic Negative. At the time of the Lincoln assassination, Secretary of State Seward was the second most important official of the United States and had narrowly lost the Republication nomination for president five years earlier. On the night of April 14, 1865, he lay in his bed badly injured from a terrible carriage accident that had left him with a broken right arm and a fractured jaw. His arm had been set and his lower jaw and neck had been encased in an elastic wire bandage. While Seward slept he became the target of a vicious attack by Lewis Paine, one of John Wilkes Booth's conspirators. Paine slashed Seward's face with a knife, but because of the bandage the assassination attempt was unsuccessful. In his few remaining years of life Seward would not allow the right side of his face with its ugly knife scar to be photographed.

    This Brady negative shows the undamaged left side of Seward's face and presents the secretary of state as an old and infirm man, the result of that horrible 1865 assassination attempt. [Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt and Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Twenty Days, pages 50-53].

    Wet-plate glass negative - double lens exposure. Size, 8" x 4.5". A few scratches to the emulsion. Taken in Brady's Washington, D.C. Gallery, circa mid 1860s. Negative secured between protective glass covers and held in an archival frame, 14" x 12".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    29th-30th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,504

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