ca. 1860, [The first portrait taken of Abraham Lincoln after he had received the nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in Chicago] Abrahan Lincoln was one of the most strategic political nominees. He recognized the importance and benefit of the photograph as well as the newspapers in securing his public image and nomination.
President-elect Abraham Lincoln, February 24, 1861 by Alexander Gardner at the Matthew Brady Studio. Popular photographer, Gardner was outstanding in his composition and subject matter. However, one will find that technically the consistency on his photo prints vary greatly - with major foxing and fading on many. This example "from Lincoln's "inkwell portrait series" shows great contrast and has fortunately lasted the test of time.
Great story---On Sunday, August 9, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, along with his secretary John Hay, visited photographer Alexander Gardner’s new Washington, D.C. studio at 7th and D Street. It was there that Lincoln, who according to Hay was in good spirits, sat for Gardner for the fourth time, producing a number of new likenesses. Nine days after his sitting, Mr. Gardner received a letter signed by the president. (Follow link to read letter.)