GARDNER, ALEXANDER (1821-1882) Suite of 4 photographs depicting the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators on July 7, 1865. Albumen prints, each 6 3/4x8 3/4 inches (17.2x22.2 cm.), with Gardner's credit, titles, date, and copyright printed on the original mounts recto. 1865
Estimate $20,000 - 30,000
No. 1, Arrival on Scaffold * No. 2, Reading the Death Warrant * No. 3, Adjusting the Ropes * No. 4, Thus It Be Ever With Assassins.
A very rare grouping of 4 of the key images from the controversial execution of the Lincoln conspirators, these photographs by Gardner and his assistant, Timothy O'Sullivan, are considered to be one of the first examples of photojournalism. The images depict reporters, soldiers, and witnesses gathered around the scaffold holding the execution party and their guards and ministers. The condemned, from right to left, were George Atzerodt, charged with attempting to murder the vice-president, David Herold, who had assisted Booth in his escape attempt, Lewis Payne, convicted for trying to assassinate the secretary of state, and Mrs. Mary Surratt. Until the last moment, the public expected a Presidential pardon for Surratt, who had maintained the boardinghouse where the conspirators planned the assassination. The pardon was never issued, and Surratt became the first woman ever hanged by the U.S. federal government.