Oil on canvas. Painting- 'The Death of Lincoln'. Scene shows President Abraham Lincoln lying on his deathbed surrounded by forty-six people. Inscribed 'Jno. B. Bachelder/ Designer 1865' and 'A. Chappel 1868'. Interior setting. Mrs. Lincoln crying while stretched out over Mr. Lincoln's body. Blood is on his pillow.
Painter Alonzo Chappel used photos to create a setting that showed many of the people on the scene at the time of Lincoln's death. Key to people portrayed in painting in Authority File. According to a letter in the Authority File, the painting came to the New Hampshire Historical Society from members of the designer's family.(Charlotte Butler Stevens donated family items and items from the estate of her sister, Elizabeth Stevens Bachelder.) The director of the New Hampshire Historical Society toured the Chicago Historical Society. Upon his return home, he wrote suggesting that this painting be loaned to Chicago. The New Hampshire Historical Society has another Bachelder and this one had been in storage for some time. The Chicago Historical Society accepted the loan and the painting arrived in 1969. In July 1971, an offer was made to purchase the painting and restore it. The offer was accepted.
The death of Lincoln. Artist Alonzo Chappel gathers into one scene many of those who visited the dying president throughout the night of April 14-15. Interior setting. Lincoln bearded; has moustache. Mrs. Lincoln crying while stretched out over Mr. Lincoln's body. Blood is on his pillow. Depicted are: President Lincoln; Mrs. Lincon; Vice President Johnson; Brevet Major Henry Reed Rathbone; United States Representative Isaac N. Arnold (IL); Post Master General William Dennison; Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles; Attorney General James Speed; Dr. J.C. Hall; Dr. Charles Liebermann; Secretary of the Interior John P. Usher; Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch; Governor R.J. Oglesby (IL); Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax (IN); Dr. Robert King Stone, Lincoln family physician; Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes; Elizabeth Lord Dixon, wife of Senator James Dixon (CT); Dr. Lyman Beecher Todd, cousin of Mrs. Lincoln; Assistant Surgeon Charles A. Leale; Assistant Surgeon Charles S. Taft; Assistant Secretary of the Interior William T. Otto; U. S. Representative John F. Farnsworth (IL); Senator Charles Sumner (MA); Surgeon Charles H.Crane; General John Blair Smith Todd, Congressional delegate from the Dakota Territory, Mrs. Lincoln's cousin; Robert Lincoln; Reverend Dr. Phineas D. Gurley; Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury Maunsell B. Field; Adjutant General Isham N. Haynie of the Illinois State Militia; Commissioner of Public Buildings Major Benjamin B. French; Major General Christopher C. Augur; Major Thomas M. Vincent, Assistant Adjutant General; Major General Henry W. Halleck, Chief of Staff of the Army; Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Colonel George V. Rutherford; Assistant Secretary of War Thomas T. Eckert; Brevet Brigadier General Louis H. Pelouze; Major John M. Hay, formerly private secretary and assistant to President Lincoln; Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs; Major Almon F. Rockwell; former Governor Leonard J. Farwell (WI); Chief Justice David K. Cartter, Supreme Court of the District of Columbia; U.S. Representative Edward H. Rollins (NH); U.S. Representative General Gilman Marston (NH); Mrs. Mary Cogswell Kinney, sister of Elizabeth Lord Dixon; Miss Constance Kinney, Mrs. Kinney's daughter, Mrs.Dixon's niece; and Miss Clara Harris, fiancee of Major Henry Rathbone.
Throughout the night of April 14, 1865 and into the next morning, nearly fifty people visited the dying president at the Petersen House. Three years later, American artist Alonzo Chappel placed all of them in one scene. Chappel based his painting on a design by New York artist John C. Bachelder and modeled his figures after photographs taken by Mathew Brady. Although tragic, Lincoln's assassination created opportunities for entrepreneurs such as the artist and engraver John B. Bachelder of Washington, D.C. who arranged for everyone who visited the dying president to have their photographs taken at Mathew Brady's studio. From those images, Bachelder created a design for a monumental painting and hired Alonzo Chappell to complete the canvas. Printed copies of the scene were sold by subscription.