William Lincoln Cover

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This cabinet card photograph may be a portrait of Baltimore photographer William Lincoln Cover. The words “Cousin Will Cover” are penciled on the back.

Born 5 Jan 1844, William L. Cover grew up in Frederick County, Maryland. The son of prosperous carpenter Frederick Cover, William attended Emmitsburg Academy. According to a brief biography published in the Baltimore SUN in 1900, Cover set up as a photographer in Baltimore about 1872. The 1870 census for Baltimore city has Cover listed as a photographer, boarding in the home of an elderly lady named Anna Rose.

He ran on the Democratic ticket for the State House of Delegates for the Third District in 1899 and was elected.

I haven’t found a date of death, yet, but letters of administration for the estate of William L. Cover were granted to his wife Susanna Cover in April 1903. Their home was at 304 N. Stricker Street, and his studio was located at 754 W. Baltimore Street.

I have a Cover carte de visite with a different studio address, 560 W. Baltimore Street, whose simple imprint Darrah suggests dates to anywhere from 1868 to 1882; according to Ross Kelbaugh, Cover’s studio was located at 560 W. Baltimore from 1868 to 1886 and 754 W. Baltimore from 1887 to 1903.

He is dressed formally in a Victorian tailcoat and white wingtip shirt. Elaborate advertising graphics on the reverse feature a Greek theme. He may have had this formal portrait taken for his campaign ca. 1899.