Probing the Mysteries of Mr Lincoln

The youthful Abe Lincoln you see on our cover may seem far removed from the war-weary face that has become an icon, yet that is how he appeared for most of his adult life. The painting for TIME by artist Michael Deas is based on a photograph taken in May 1858, only three years before Lincoln became President. He had just won a noteworthy court case in Illinois, defending a man on a murder charge, and marked the occasion by stopping by a portrait studio. What Deas found telling about the photo was the prewar freshness of Lincoln's expression and "a...

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