Portrait by George C. Bingham
Six years after his death, a life-sized marble statue of Abraham
Lincoln by the pretty young sculptor, Vinnie Ream, was unveiled
and dedicated in the rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, D. C.
So remarkable was the sculptured likeness of the martyred President, that it was said that people who knew him gasped when they
first saw it, for it seemed as if they were seeing Ole Abe all over again.
The statue showed him "tall and gaunt and somewhat destitute
of grace," but there was no doubt that it was the likeness of "a man
who had commanded great respect and attention." The sculptured
face was more attractive than it was in life, but as one man present
at the dedication said, "No one could make his rugged, homely face
as sad as it actually was."1
A delegation of Lincoln's friends and neighbors from Illinois,
who had come to Washington for the ceremony, could find nothing
to criticize in the statue, for they said it was a true picture of
Lincoln as he appeared in the courtrooms in the West and in the
White House. A dedication speaker noted that the sculptor had
given him his big, comfortable shoes. The Lincoln they knew had
never punished his feet by wearing footgear that was too small for
him. Vinnie had refused to put a toga on him as sculptors from time
immemorial had done when they executed statues of famous men.
Instead, she had clothed him in a familiar frock-coated suit, none
too well fitted and somewhat wrinkled. Over his back she had
^Washington Evening Star, January 7, 1871; Vinnie Ream Hoxie, Vinnie Ream (Washington,