Is this Sam Arnold?

While searching newspapers today, I stumbled across an article regarding Samuel Arnold’s 1902 newspaper serial about his involvement in the conspiracy to kidnap President Lincoln.  The completed serial ran in the Baltimore American and can be purchased in book form as Memoirs of a Lincoln Conspirator edited by Michael Kauffman.  What was new to me in this article was not the content, but rather an image of Sam Arnold that I had never seen previously:

Sam Arnold’s image in the December 7th, 1902 edition of the Dallas Morning News

At first, I thought it was a rather poor drawing by a Dallas newspaperman based off of Sam’s mug shot photo:

Sam Arnold’s Mug Shot

After a little bit of searching, I discovered the image in two other papers, both in Illinois, dated the 11th and 28th:

Sam Arnold image in the Rockford, IL Morning Star on December 28th, 1902

Then I found a slightly different, but similiar image of Sam Arnold in another 1902 newspaper:

Sam Arnold in the December 7th, 1902 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer

To me, this version in the Inquirer appears to be the most lifelike and looks to be taken from a photo.  Alterations have been made to it, of course, but not to the same degree as the first few versions.  Still I cannot decide whether I think these images are based off a true, unknown image of Sam or if they are just an artist’s interpreation of Sam.  I’ve created a poll to get your feedback.  What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Is this Sam Arnold?

  1. Robert W. Cook

    Bryantown Tavern
    8 October 2012

    The newspaper images probably are of the same person – but not Samuel Arnold.
    The hair is parted differently (on opposite sides) and the shape of the two individuals’ ears (which do not change throughout one’s lifetime) are completely different.

    Robert W. Cook

  2. Michele

    Dave, based on my interest in early photography, I found today’s topic very interesting!

    I think the newspaper image is based on a photograph. Although it’s a poor quality reproduction, notice that the first image (from the 1902 Dallas Morning News) has what looks like a small semi-circular tear on the upper left side of what would be the albumen of an original photograph.

    If an artist had just created this work, versus it being a halftone photographic reproduction, there would be a continuous background with a clean edge.

    The fact that the upper left side of the newspaper image exhibits what clearly looks like a tear in the paper indicates, to me, that the image was reproduced, however crudely, from an actual photograph mounted on card stock with the albumen paper ripped in that exact spot.

  3. I think that this is just an artist’s conception of what Sam looked like at the time of the Conspiracy trial. By this particular time (early 1900’s) it’s obvious that he was much older and I think from other photographs, had a long white beard. Interesting images, though. I have a rare image of Powell which I’ve never seen from a photograph and I’ll send that to you as well. Whether it’s the same type of image – what I call “early Photoshopping” where the artist/lithographer put Powell’s head from one image onto his body from another, may be the case. The image is from 1865.

  4. Everyone’s eyes see things differently. Richard once mentioned Albert Kaplan’s daguerreotype of a young Abraham Lincoln. I have stared at that photo since the 1990’s, and I do not see it as Abraham Lincoln. Just as sincerely, Mr. Kaplan stares at it and does see a young Abraham Lincoln. Dave, all I can say is what my eyes see, and when I stare at this image I do not see it as Samuel Arnold.

  5. DAVE,

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