Facial Hair Friday Returns!

Whether it be beards, mustaches, burnsides, goatees, sideburns, or the good ol’ mutton chops, every first Friday of the month we’ll bring you the finest facial hair from the holdings of National Archives.

Portrait of John A. Logan
John A. Logan. (National Archives Identifier 526077)

Why are we bringing back Facial Hair Friday? It is fate—two recent posts had photos of John Alexander Logan, and while looking at them, I couldn’t help but notice he had a pretty sweet stache (his head hair isn’t so bad either).

In the first, Tom Eisinger in Legislative included a photo of Logan in his Andrew Johnson Impeachment Trial post—Logan was one of the House Managers to conduct the trial. And then last week, John Blair wrote about Logan’s efforts to establish Memorial Day.

You can read all about Logan in John’s post, but in short, he was a lawyer, a member of Congress and later a senator, a major general in the U.S. Civil War, and Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic—a fraternal organization of veterans who served for the Union in the Civil War.

Anyone familiar with Washington, DC, knows Logan Circle at 13th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NW. Yes—John Alexander Logan is that Logan! While in Congress, he lived near the circle. Originally called “Iowa Circle,” an equestrian statue of Logan was added in 1901. Congress later decided all the circles should be named after the statues in them and in 1930 renamed the circle in honor of Logan.

Logan must have been quite the regular at Mathew Brady’s studio because we have about a dozen photos of him in our catalog alone. There you can see various images of his mustache in all its glory. 

Logan was only 60 when he died on December 26, 1886. After his death he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda for two days—one of the small number of people who have held that distinction. His final resting place is also in Washington. He is buried with his family in an granite mausoleum in the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery.

In honor of Independence Day, July 6 will be a patriotic Facial Hair Friday—stay tuned!



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