On February 27, 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave his famous "Right Makes Might" speech at Cooper Union. That same day, he went over to famed photographer Mathew Brady's studio at Broadway and Bleecker Street where he sat for an official campaign portrait. Lincoln would later credit the speech and the photo with making him president.
One of the skills that made Brady such an acclaimed photographer was his ability to retouch in the darkroom. In this Lincoln portrait, lines are erased from the candidate's face and his wandering left eye is straightened.
While Brady's Tenth Street studio is gone, the building that housed his downtown studio still exists at 359 Broadway, an area that is rich with Civil War-era architecture.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misstated at which of Brady Studios Lincoln sat for his portrait. It could not have been the studio at Broadway and Tenth Street (despite what you may read in various reputable sources), since that studio did not open until later in 1860.
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Read more on Lincoln and New York in Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City.
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