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Famous People of the Finger Lakes

Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830-1900)

William Osborn Stoddard (1835-1925)

From Homer in Cortland County, both of these men had intertwining lives. Born about the same time, Carpenter was a talented painter, who opened a studio in Homer at the age of 16. Stoddard became a journalist and an inventor. He later served as Secretary to Abraham Lincoln and, from the President’s hand-written notes, penned the first copies of the Emancipation Proclamation.


The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by artist Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830-1900).

Carpenter is most famous for his painting The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, which commemorated Lincoln’s presentation of that famous document to his Cabinet. The painting now hangs in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Stoddard later wrote Abraham Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, considered by some to be the best book on this nation’s sixteenth president.


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Updated 9 January 2020






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