September 26, 1858 - "In 1858 Lincoln and Douglas had a series of joint debates in this State, and this city was one place of meeting. Mr. Lincoln's step-mother was making her home with my father and mother at that time. Mr. Lincoln stopped at our house, and as he was going away my mother said to him: "Uncle Abe, I want a picture of you." He replied, "Well, Harriet, when I get home I will have one taken for you and send it to you." Soon after, mother received the photograph, which she still has, already framed, from Springfield, Illinois, with a letter from Mr. Lincoln, in which he said, "This is not a very good-looking picture, but it's the best that could be produced from the poor subject." He also said that he had it taken solely for my mother." — Mr. K. N. Chapman of Charleston, Illinois, great-grandson of Sarah Bush Lincoln
October 1, 1858 - On the afternoon of Friday, October 1, 1858, Lincoln had a luncheon at the home of his attorney friend, Daniel H. Gilmer in Pittsfield, Illinois. Lincoln then headed across the street to the town square, where he spoke for two hours. Following the address, Lincoln, at the request of Gilmer, went to the portable canvas photo gallery of Calvin Jackson on the northeast corner of the square and sat for two ambrotype poses. The photos were soon processed, but one was not finished, probably because it had been overexposed. Lincoln requested that copies of the other be delivered to two Pittsfield friends the following day.
October 11, 1858 - This ambrotype was taken two days before the next to last debate with Douglas in Quincy, Illinois