Cullen writes about an April 10, 1865 picture of Lincoln, taken four days before he died.
Here is a taste:
One of the things I love so much about the picture is that smile on his face, slight but unmistakable. That’s very rare. People tend not to smile in 19th-century photographs because exposure times were relatively prolonged, and such expressions seem fake if you have to sustain them for more than a moment. Of course, there was also the matter that he didn’t have a whole lot to smile about in those terrible days. The fact that he was doing so here, just after his gargantuan task was accomplished and just before he became another casualty in the struggle, seems almost unbearably moving.
Indeed, the smile, real as it is, does not hide the deep sense of sorrow etched into his face. He fingers his glasses with a kind of absent-minded gentleness. His bow tie is slightly off-center; to the last he never lost his rumpled quality. He managed to retain a full head of jet black hair and beard, only slightly touched with gray. Yet there’s something almost steely about them. Though his face seems about as soft as the bark on a tree, I find myself wishing I could run my hand across it. Walt Whitman had it right — he’s so ugly that he’s beautiful.
My MA advisor found the last (post-mortem) picture of Lincoln ever taken. It's an interesting story: