Card 13-B. [A little boy is sitting on the doorstep of a log cabin.]

According to Murray (1943/1971) this card is taken from a photograph by Nancy Post Wright [sic] titled "Mr. Abe Lincoln, Jr." Actually the original photograph was taken by the American photographer Marion Post (1910-1990) who was later to use her married name, Marion Post Wolcott. The original photograph is captioned, "Old mountain cabin made of hand hewn logs near Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky."

The photograph is dated September 1940 and was taken while the photographer was working on an assignment for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Interesting accounts of the photographer's experiences on this Kentucky assignment can be found in her biography by Hurley (1989) and in an article by Neace (1989). Prints of this photo can be obtained from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, photo LC-USF34-55829-D. Additional sources of this photograph can be found in Morgan (1995).

The picture was arguably one of Wolcott's best and favorite photographs. It was selected by Edward Steichen to appear in U.S. Camera--1942 (Maloney, 1941) and was selected by the photographer herself to appear in O'Neal (1976). I believe that the U.S. Camera--1942 publication is the likely immediate source used by Morgan and Murray because this same issue also contains a photograph by Ulrich Meisel that was the likely source for Card 9-BM.

The search for "Little Abe"

For some yet to be explained reason (perhaps following the dictum on Murray's medallion ) I have been drawn to this photograph and have attempted to identify the identity of the young boy pictured sitting there in the doorway as well as the actual location of the cabin. Much effort has gone into the search. I corresponded with Mrs. Wolcott and two ex-school teachers who were photographed by her on this assignment as well as many residents of Jackson, KY. And I have searched through over 17,000 FSA photographs looking for clues.


          Hurley, F. J. (1989). Marion Post Wolcott: A photographic journey. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

          Maloney, T. J. (Ed.). (1941). U. S. Camera--1942. New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce.

          Morgan, W. G. (1995). Origin and history of the Thematic Apperception Test images. Journal of Personality Assessment, 65, 237-254.

          Murray, H. A. (1971). Thematic Apperception Test: Manual. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original work published 1943).

          Neace, J. C. (1989, February). Story behind the FSA photographs in Breathitt Co. The Kentucky Explorer, pp. 12-18.

          O'Neal, H. (1976). A vision shared: A classic portrait of America and its people. 1935-1943. New York: St. Martin's.