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Monday, October 26, 2009

A Visit to Abe's Home

The last leg of our trip we headed to Missouri to see my family before heading back to TN. And between our night stop of Bloomington, IL and DeSoto is Springfield, IL.

What’s special about Springfield? It was the home of Abraham Lincoln and is also his burial place. Sometime when I was in high school – can’t remember exactly when – we made a field trip over there. Unfortunately it didn’t make much impression on me because the only thing I clearly remember is everyone rubbing Lincoln’s nose on one of the bronze statues at his tomb.

So I decided since we are going right past it, now would be a good time to visit with a bit more mature appreciation.

Following the “Lincoln Trail” signs into town, our first stop was his tomb. Kinda backwards but that is just the way it worked out. Found out they’re closed on Mondays but we still had a look around. First thing we saw was a very shiny nosed bust of Abe in front of the tomb! He hasn’t changed much in about 30 years! After looking around a bit, we took off – making a slight detour to look around the cemetery and at a war memorial there.

Next stop was at Lincoln’s home ( http://www.nps.gov/liho/index.htm ). Very interesting site. Not only is his home restored… but much of the neighborhood around it is part of the park and also restored back to period. Those other buildings are offices for the park service. Pretty cool. There is also a small museum and gift shop on the site.

Tours are free but you have to get a ticket to lock in a time slot. They only allow 17 people per tour because it’s pretty cramped. But not bad.

We didn’t make it over to the Presidential Museum – we’ll hit that on another trip thru Springfield. By the time we finished at the homeplace it was time to get rolling for Missouri!

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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
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Lincoln Trivia:

Lincoln quote: "Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

There are no living descendants of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln’s son sold his father’s home to the state of Illinois for $1 and with the provision that there never be a charge for people to visit it. And to this day, it is free for all to see.

In 1909, President Lincoln appeared on a one-cent coin and became the first American president to have his face appear on a regular-issue American coin.

Frederick Douglass said Lincoln was "the first great man that I talked with in the United States freely, who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color."

Abraham Lincoln established the US Department of Agriculture.

Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, the first one being celebrated on November 26, 1863.

According to his wife Mary, Lincoln's hobby was cats. (I knew I liked that man!)

And the trim on his home is the same color as our deck is stained. –LOL-
Outside of Lincoln's home.


Front sitting parlor.

The Lincoln family room.


Lincoln's bed. It is 6 ft 9 inches long to accommodate his 6'4" frame. The wallpaper is an exact replica of what was there.



Lincoln's Tomb



Still shining!

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