Most of us grew up assuming Abraham Lincoln must have had his iconic beard his whole life.  However, the truth is he didn't start growing it out until late 1860, and then it became a permanent fixture for the remaining years of his life.  The following rare photos show what the young lawyer and statesman looked like without his beard.

This 1846 daguerreotype is the earliest confirmed photographic image of Abraham Lincoln. It was reportedly made in 1846 by Nicholas H. Shepherd in Springfield, Illinois shortly after Lincoln was elected to the United States House of Representatives.  He was certainly a dapper young man!


Do you have any photos of yourself where it appears as though you are completely uninterested?  This October 27, 1854 photo was taken by a George Schneider in his mobile photo gallery in Chicago after he had attended a dinner with Mr. Lincoln.  The photo was submitted to a prominent anti-slavery magazine.


This is absolutely our favorite picture of Lincoln.  H.W. Fay of DeKalb, Illinois, the original owner of the photo, shared about it:  "I have a letter from Mr. Hesler stating that [Lincoln] came in and made arrangements for the sitting, so that the members of the bar could get prints. Lincoln said at the time that he did not know why the boys wanted such a homely face. Joseph Medill went with Mr. Lincoln to have the picture taken. He says that the photographer insisted on smoothing down Lincoln's hair, but Lincoln did not like the result, and ran his fingers through it before sitting."  This photo was taken February 28, 1857.

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17 Rare Photos of Lincoln Before the Beard