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Abraham Lincoln History in Springfield, IL

Lincoln Historical Sites


Abraham Lincoln has left an indelible mark on Springfield, IL, where he spent much of his life and career. As the capital of Illinois, Springfield is home to many historical sites related to Lincoln, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. This world-class facility offers a comprehensive look at Lincoln's life and legacy, featuring artifacts, documents, and interactive exhibits that bring his story to life.Other notable Lincoln sites in Springfield include his home and law office, where visitors can step back in time and get a glimpse into Lincoln's daily life. The Old State Capitol, where Lincoln served as a lawyer and a legislator, is where he delivered his famous "House Divided" speech. The Lincoln Tomb, located in Oak Ridge Cemetery, is a solemn tribute to the 16th president, where Lincoln and members of his family are buried. The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices and the Lincoln Depot are additional stops on the Lincoln trail in Springfield, offering further insights into his legal and political career. Lincoln's impact on Springfield is truly enduring, with his presence felt in every corner of the city.

The Only House He Ever Owned

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is renowned for leading the country through the Civil War and for his role in ending slavery. One of the homes he owned during his lifetime was a modest two-story house in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln purchased the house in 1844 for $1,200, and it served as the family's primary residence for 17 years. The house was where Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd raised their children and hosted many visitors, including political figures and friends. Today, the house is a popular tourist attraction and has been preserved as a historic site by the National Park Service.

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site offers guided tours of the house, giving visitors a glimpse into the life of the iconic president and his family. The house has been restored to its 1860 appearance, with period furnishings and decor. Visitors can see the room where Lincoln worked on his speeches and met with guests, as well as the bedrooms where the family slept. The house stands as a testament to Lincoln's humble beginnings and his rise to become one of the most revered figures in American history.

Abraham Lincoln Home Springfield Illinois
Abraham Lincoln and family Home Springfield Illinois

Robert Lincoln, was the son of former President Abraham Lincoln.  He made a significant contribution to preserving his father's legacy by donating the Lincoln House to the federal government. The house, located in Springfield, Illinois, was the family home where Abraham Lincoln and his family lived before he became President. Robert's generous donation ensured that the historic residence would be preserved for future generations.  His actions demonstrate a commitment to honoring his father's memory and preserving important pieces of American history.

The Illinois Old State Capitol

The Illinois Old State Capitol, located in Springfield, Illinois, is a historic building that served as the state's capitol building from 1839 to 1876. It is known for its Greek Revival architecture and its significance in American history as the site of Abraham Lincoln's "House Divided" speech in 1858. The speech, delivered in the midst of the heated debates over slavery that would eventually lead to the Civil War.  He famously declared that "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The Old State Capitol is now a state historic site and museum, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about its role in shaping Illinois and national history.

The phrase "a house divided" is an enduring symbol for the deep divisions and conflicts that can threaten the unity and stability of a nation. Lincoln's speech at the Illinois Old State Capitol laid bare the stark reality of the growing tensions over slavery in the United States.  It ultimately foreshadowed the violent and divisive conflict that would come to define the nation in the years to come. Today, the Old State Capitol stands as a reminder of the importance of confronting and addressing division to preserve the unity of a society.

Lincoln - Herndon Law Practise

Lincoln - Herndon Law Offices Springfield, Illinois
Lincoln - Herndon Law Offices Springfield, Illinois

The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, located in Springfield, Illinois, were a historic and significant legal practice established by Abraham Lincoln and his junior partner, William Herndon, in 1844. The firm specialized in handling a wide range of cases, including criminal defense, debt collections, and land disputes. This partnership laid the foundation for Lincoln's career as a successful lawyer.  It eventually led him to his prestigious role as the 16th President of the United States. The offices were known for their dedication to justice, fairness, and integrity, and their legacy continues to inspire and influence the legal profession to this day.

"I Now Leave, Not Knowing When, or Whether Ever, I May Return"

Great Western Train Station - Where Lincoln departed Springfield from to go to Washington D.C.
Great Western Train Station - Where Lincoln departed Springfield from to go to Washington D.C.

The Great Western Railroad train depot in Springfield was a bustling hub of activity as Abraham Lincoln prepared to depart for Washington to assume the presidency. On February 11, 1861, a large crowd gathered to bid farewell to their beloved leader. Addressing the assembled crowd, Lincoln delivered a poignant speech in which he expressed his gratitude for their support and spoke of his hopes for the future. Reflecting on the challenges ahead, Lincoln remarked, "My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell."

Now He Belongs to the Ages

Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, IL
LIncoln Tomb in Springfield, IL

Lincoln Tomb is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's Tomb is Located in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.  The tomb was constructed in the late 19th century as a tribute to Lincoln's legacy and service to the nation. The tomb consists of a 117-foot tall monument constructed of brick and marble, with a bronze statue of Lincoln at the entrance. Inside the tomb, visitors can pay their respects at Lincoln's burial chamber, which is located below the main hall.

The Lincoln Tomb is a popular tourist destination for history enthusiasts and those looking to learn more about one of America's greatest presidents. The site also serves as a reminder of Lincoln's enduring legacy and his impact on the nation during a time of great turmoil and change. In addition to Lincoln's burial chamber, the tomb also houses the remains of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and three of their four sons. The tomb is a place of reflection and remembrance.  Visitors can honor Lincoln's contributions to the country and reflect on the ideals of freedom and equality that he fought for during his presidency.

Overall, Lincoln Tomb is a significant historical site that pays tribute to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and his contributions to the United States. It stands as a symbol of the enduring impact of Lincoln's presidency and his commitment to preserving the Union.  It stands for upholding the ideals of liberty and equality for all. Visitors to the tomb can gain a deeper understanding of Lincoln's life and legacy.  It is a place to pay their respects to one of America's greatest leaders.

The phrase "now he belongs to the ages" holds significant historical and cultural importance as it was famously uttered by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton upon the death of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 across the street from Ford's Theater where he was shot. This statement immortalized Lincoln's legacy and solidified his place in American history as a revered leader.  It serves as a reminder of the power of individuals to shape the course of history and inspire future generations with their actions and achievements.

The 114th Illinois Voluntary Infantry Regiment Reactivated folds the US flag.
The 114th Illinois Voluntary Infantry Regiment Reactivated folds the US flag.

Every Tuesday evening, the 114th Illinois Civil War Regiment retire the color (lower the US Flag) at Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Springfield IL
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Springfield IL

The Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is located in Springfield, Illinois.  It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about the life and legacy of America's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. The museum offers a comprehensive look at Lincoln's life.  The exhibits begin with his humble beginnings in a log cabin to his rise to the presidency and his leadership during the Civil War. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits and displays that showcase Lincoln's personal and political journey, including original artifacts, interactive exhibits, and multimedia presentations.

One of the highlights of the museum is the stunning reproduction of the White House.  Here visitors can see firsthand the historic moments that took place during Lincoln's presidency. This immersive experience gives visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and witness the challenges and triumphs of one of our country's greatest leaders. In addition to the museum, the Lincoln Presidential Library offers a wealth of resources for researchers, scholars, and history enthusiasts. It includes an extensive collection of books, documents, and photographs related to Lincoln and the Civil War era. The Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a valuable resource for learning about the life of Abraham Lincoln.  This can be said whether you are a casual visitor or a serious scholar.

New Salem State Park

New Salem State Park in Petersburg, IL is a historic site where Abraham Lincoln lived and worked as a young man. The park offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time and explore buildings and structures from the 1830s.  These buildings include Lincoln's log cabin, a general store, a blacksmith shop, and a schoolhouse. Guided tours are available to provide insight into what life was like in this frontier town during Lincoln's time.

In addition to its historical significance, New Salem State Park offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. The park features hiking trails that wind through wooded areas and along the Sangamon River, providing opportunities for bird watching, fishing, and picnicking. Live musical performances and historical reenactments are held at the park, giving visitors a taste of what life was like during Lincoln's era.

Visitors to New Salem State Park can also learn about the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln through exhibits and interpretive programs at the Visitors Center. The park offers educational programming for schools and groups, making it a popular destination for field trips and special events. Visitors are sure to find something to enjoy and learn whether they explore the historic buildings, hike the scenic trails, or attend a special event.  

New Salem State Park is 20 miles from Springfield.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Abraham Lincoln known for in history?

Abraham Lincoln is known for being the 16th President of the United States.  He led the country through the Civil War, preserved the Union, and abolished slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation.

What are 10 fast facts about Abraham Lincoln?

  1. Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin in Kentucky

  2. He was largely self-educated and became a successful lawyer

  3. Lincoln served as a congressman and later as the President of the United States

  4. He delivered the famous Gettysburg Address in 1863

  5. Lincoln was the first President to be assassinated, at Ford's Theatre in 1865

  6. He signed the Homestead Act and the Pacific Railway Act

  7. Lincoln was known for his honesty, wit, and leadership qualities

  8. His face is depicted on the penny and the iconic Mount Rushmore

  9. Lincoln was married to Mary Todd and had four children

  10. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Presidents in US history

What are 5 things Abraham Lincoln accomplished?

  1. Preserved the Union during the Civil War

  2. Issued the Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery

  3. Signed the Thirteenth Amendment to permanently end slavery

  4. Established the National Banking Act to stabilize the economy

  5. Expanded the railroad system through the Pacific Railway Act

What did Abraham Lincoln do when he was President?

President Lincoln successfully managed the country during the turbulent Civil War.  He signed significant legislation during his Presidential tenure.  He issued the Emancipation Proclamation, delivered the Gettysburg Address, and ultimately abolished slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment. Lincoln's leadership and actions during his presidency solidified his legacy as one of the most impactful Presidents in American history.

This Article was written by Mike Layden, CPA, President of Health & Life Solutions, Inc, in Springfield, IL.

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