Specializing in Authentic Civil War Artifacts
  • Scarce Child and Bradley Beardless Abraham Lincoln Lithograph

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    Child and Bradley Abraham Lincoln Lithograph - Scarce Beardless Abraham Lincoln lithograph published by Child & Bradley.   Signed, in the printing, “Yours very truly, A. Lincoln” this lithograph was published by Child & Bradley of Springfield Mass and was originally by “W. Roehner.”  According to history Abraham Lincoln was beardless until 1860, when an 11 year old girl, Grace Bedell wrote Lincoln a letter on October 15, 1860, a few weeks before Lincoln was elected President of the United States, urging him to grow a beard to improve his appearance.  Lincoln responded in a letter on October 19, 1860, making no promises.  However, within a month, he grew a full beard.  Up to this point, one of the first lithographic works turned out by Milton Bradley was a portrait of Abraham Lincoln without his beard.  Lincoln had just been nominated for the Presidency of the United States. The sale of this picture was extremely encouraging to the young printer until it was found that Lincoln had grown a beard. The sale of Bradley’s beardless lithograph dropped off drastically.   This highly desirable lithograph is nicely framed and ready for display, frame measures 22 3/4" x 18 5/8".

    Born in Vienna, Maine in 1836, to Lewis and Fannie (Lyford) Bradley, Bradley grew up in a working-class household in Lowell, Massachusetts after the family moved there in 1847.  After completing high school in 1854 he found work as a draftsman and patent agent before enrolling at the Lawrence Scientific School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was unable to finish his studies after moving with his family to Hartford, Connecticut, where he could not find gainful employment. In 1856, he left home and got a job in the locomotive works of the Blanchard & Kimball (later Bemis & Company) in Springfield, Massachusetts.

    After the company was shuttered during the recession of 1858, he entered business for himself as a mechanical draftsman and patent agent. In 1859, Bradley went to Providence, Rhode Island to learn lithography and in 1860, he set up the first color lithography shop in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

    Bradley's ventures into the production of board games began with a large failure in his lithograph business. When he printed and sold an image of the little-known Republican presidential nominee Abraham Lincoln, Bradley initially met with great success. But a customer demanded his money back because the picture was not an accurate representation—Lincoln had decided to grow his distinctive beard after Bradley's print was published. Suddenly, the prints were worthless, and Bradley burned those remaining in his possession.  Looking for a lucrative alternate project, Bradley found inspiration from an imported board game a friend gave him, concluding that he could produce and market a similar game to American consumers. In the winter of 1860, Bradley released The Checkered Game of Life.

    Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, from March 1861 until his assassination in 1865. He led his country through the American Civil War, preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and promoting economic and financial modernization. Reared on the western frontier, Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator and member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected president in 1860, but before Lincoln took office, seven southern slave states declared their secession and formed the Confederacy. When war began Lincoln concentrated on both the military and political dimensions of the war effort, seeking to reunify the nation. He exercised unprecedented war powers, including the arrest and detention without trial of thousands of suspected secessionists. He prevented British recognition of the Confederacy by skillfully handling the Trent affair late in 1861. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. The Gettysburg Address was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery on November 19, 1863. Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. They had four sons; Robert Todd, Edward Baker, Willie and Tad, but only Robert and Tad survived to adulthood, and only Robert outlived his mother. Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theater on April 14th, 1865. After being in a coma for nine hours, Lincoln died at 7:22 am on April 15.

    Inventory Number: PRI 060