In Memoriam

After Lincoln’s assassination, Northern families often displayed in their homes lithographic prints of the man they believed to be the savior of their nation. Printmakers published numerous prints commemorating the late president in order to both illustrate and capitalize upon the nation’s woe. This graphic memorial to Lincoln, circa 1865, displays his profile upon a stone monument. Below his portrait, an inscription reads, “To Abraham Lincoln, The Best Beloved of the Nation.” Atop the memorial rests an urn draped with an American flag. Three owls sit around the urn, symbolizing wisdom. A weeping Columbia leans against the monument on the left, while a freed slave weeps to its right. At the base of the shrine rest a broken shackle, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the slain corpse of a dragon, representing rebellion and secession. Above, an angel with clasped hands looks down upon the memorial. In the background, a field strewn with the bodies of men and horses and the wreckage of cannons serves as a reminder of the destruction of the war.
Louis Nagel was born in Germany around 1817, and was working in New York as early as 1844. There he was involved in two partnerships, Nagel & Mayer (1846) and Nagel & Weingaertner (1849-1856). In 1857, he moved to San Francisco. Charles Nahl was born in Germany around 1818, and emigrated to America in 1849. With his half-brother, he travelled to work in the California gold fields, before settling in San Francisco, where they worked as photographers and commercial artists from 1850 to 1867.
The lithograph was published for the subscribers of a West Coast magazine, the San Francisco Puck, by Pascal Loomis and James F. Swift, the periodical’s founders. Loomis was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1826, and worked from 1848 to 1859 as a wood engraver in New York. In 1860, he migrated to San Francisco, where he went into business with Swift. The duo first started a wood engraving firm, Loomis and Swift, but, by 1866, also began publishing the San Francisco Puck.
Currently not on view
Date made
ca. 1865
date made
ca 1865
copyright holder
Loomis, Pascal
Swift, James F.
Lincoln, Abraham
Nagel, Louis
Nahl, Charles
place made
United States: California, San Francisco
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 21 in x 16 in; 53.34 cm x 40.64 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Patriotism and Patriotic Symbols
Communication, newspapers
U.S. National Government, executive branch
Civil War
Reform Movements
African American
related event
Civil War
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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