Abraham Lincoln may have been America’s greatest leader. The 16th president ended slavery and led the nation out of one of its darkest periods.
However, Lincoln’s life and legacy were cut short that fateful night in 1865, when the actor John Wilkes Booth entered Ford’s Theatre and killed the president with an assassin’s bullet.
Today, only 130 photographs of President Lincoln are known to have survived. But is it possible that another image exists, secretly taken after he was shot, and kept hidden for over 150 years?
We find out as we meet director Jason Cohen and executive producer Dr Whitny Braun, the filmmakers behind the new documentary The Lost Lincoln.
Jason and Whitny take us on their journey to authenticate a newly discovered photo of Abraham Lincoln, one supposedly taken right after he died. In the process, we learn about this great American whose legacy still resonates with us today.
“Here’s this great man who means so much to us, and he was ultimately human. What do all humans experience? We ultimately experience death, and it’s a tribute to the fallibility of humanity.” – Dr. Whitny Braun
02:56 – The synopsis of the film The Lost Lincoln.
03:56 – What Dr. Whitny Braun does as an authenticator.
05:48 – The success rate with authenticating items of potential historical value.
07:05 – How Whitny first heard about the “lost” Lincoln’s photo.
09:25 – First clip: how Whitny checked the authenticity of the Lincoln photograph.
11:48 – When Whitny first thought to turn the topic into a documentary.
13:17 – How Jason Cohen got involved with the film.
15:01 – The difficulties with authenticating the photo.
22:58 – Whitny’s work as a bioethicist and the time she’s spent working with the deceased.
25:23 – How attitudes towards death have changed over time.
28:12 – How Whitny and Jason validated the timeline of the photos creation.
30:20 – Who the Ulke brothers were and how they knew Lincoln.
31:59 – Second clip: how the Ulke brothers may have taken a photo of a dead Lincoln.
34:04 – Whitny’s and Jason’s opinions of whether this photo is legitimate.
37:47 – How the public has responded to the film.
40:03 – How Jason decided on the structure of the film.
46:36 – How as a filmmaker Jason brought life to such an old subject.
48:36 – The controversy around the making of the film and how it almost got banned.
52:34 – What Whitny wants to come from the making of this documentary.
55:53 – Who had access to the photo over the years and how this adds to its authenticity.
58:50 – The importance of this photo and what it means to Whitny.
1:03:31 – Whether Lincoln could have survived if the bullet hadn’t been removed.
1:06:36 – What Whitny’s now working on.
Connect with Dr. Whitny Braun: