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Mammoth Portrait of U.S. Grant by T. R. Burnham

GRANT, ULYSSES S. Mammoth Plate Portrait, “Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, U.S.A.” by T. R. Burnham

Washington D. C, June 5, 1868

Albumen photograph (19 x 16 in.), original printed mount giving place and date of the portrait as well as photographer’s name and copyright notice. Some stains to mount, some fading, but generally in very good condition.

This splendid mammoth portrait shows U. S. Grant fifteen days after receiving the Republican presidential nomination. Boston photographer T. R. Burnham traveled to Washington in June 1868 to make this imposing photograph.

At the beginning of 1864 Congress reinstated the rank of lieutenant general (a rank no field officer had held since George Washington), promoted Grant to that three-star rank, and put him in charge of all Union armies. In the summer of 1866, a year after the war’s conclusion, Congress established the grade of General of the Army, which was conferred upon Grant, who wore its four-star insignia. In this iconic portrait Grant is seated in military uniform with four-star shoulder boards. The large printed caption identifies him as “Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, U.S.A.”

This magnificent portrait is the only example of this enormous photograph that we have ever seen. It is also known from its small-format (4 x 5 ½ in.) and CDV publication.