Sep 27, 2018 - Sale 2486

Sale 2486 - Lot 55

Price Realized: $ 5,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
(PAINTINGS.) [Carpenter, Francis Bicknell; artist.] Portrait of Lincoln's secretary William O. Stoddard. Oil on canvas, 22 x 18 inches oval to sight; light craquelure, in original 33 x 29-inch gilt frame, restored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Np, circa 1880

Additional Details

William Osborn Stoddard (1835-1925) was a native of Cortland County, NY, and a graduate of the University of Rochester. In 1858, he became the editor of the Central Illinois Gazette in Champaign, IL, where he had the opportunity to meet and campaign for Lincoln. In 1861, he was hired as one of Lincoln's three private secretaries, remaining until ill health forced him out in 1864. Stoddard later became a prolific author of adventure stories for boys.
This portrait was painted by Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830-1900), best known for the 1864 painting "First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln," later engraved by Ritchie (see lot 122). In 1878, Carpenter sold his original Emancipation Proclamation painting for $25,000 to a benefactor who then donated it to Congress. Stoddard helped Carpenter to make these arrangements. In gratitude, Carpenter painted this portrait of Stoddard at age 45. It is reproduced as the frontispiece of Stoddard's memoirs, "Lincoln's Third Secretary: The Memoirs of William O. Stoddard," which was not published until 1955; the story of the portrait appears on page 228. See also the expanded "Lincoln's White House Secretary: The Adventurous Life of William O. Stoddard," edited by Holzer in 2006; and Lincoln Image, page 126. Provenance: sold by granddaughter Eleanor Holden Stoddard (1921-2014) to the consignor in 1988. See also lots 3 and 134.