Saturday, August 23, 2014


Aug 19

Hey there Campers;

We left the Chicago area and headed toward Oklahoma. In Pontiac, IL we pulled over for lunch at a rest stop. As we were eating we noticed that there was a huge dark clouds coming toward us. Something said to just stay put for awhile. We got thunder, lighting and a deluge of rain. After the rain lighten up we got back on the freeway.


Alright. Only in the Midwest will you find on the freeway a attraction sign that states Grain Elevators and Museum in Atlanta, IL. It is called the J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum. Do you here the crickets chirping?
Grain Elevator Museum.

As we were coming closer to Springfield I remembered that this was the home of Abraham Lincoln our 16th president. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum was here. I decided I could not pass up this opportunity to stop and see this exhibit.

The information booth showed everything where you could have things related to Lincoln on a big map.

 In the museum you were given for glimpse of Lincoln's life.

Abe was born on Nolia Creek near Hodgenville, Kentucky, Feb 12, 1809. (If one really stops and look at a US map, you will find that IL & KY are not that far apart.) The family moves to Kaob Creek Kentucky in 1811. Abe briefly attends a log school house with his sister Sarah in 1815. In 1816 Abe almost drowns. The family moves to a one room cabin near Little Pigeon Creek, IN. In 1818 Abe is kicked in the head by a horse and apparently they thought he was dead for a time. Abe's mother dies and Abe carves the pegs for the coffin.

Lincoln was a hardworking member of his family and often roiled more than 16 hours a day with his father Thomas. Although considered poor by today's standards, the Lincoln family represented an average experience on the frontier. Thomas was not a large landowner, but with hard work he could provided for his family. As a young boy Abe worked hard but found time for himself. By age nine, he had learned his ABC's and was teaching himself to read.


  • Self educated lawyer.
  • One term member of congress.
  • Promoted rapid modernization of economy through banks, railroad & tariffs to build banks
  • Opposed the war with Mexico.
  • Ann Rutledge was Lincolns first romantic interest. She died at 22 years old from typhoid fever.
  • Mary Todd was from a wealthy slave holding family in Lexington, KY. Married Mary Nov 4, 1842.
  • The Lincoln's had 3 sons. Robert, Edward and Thomas (Tad) Only Robert lived to adulthood.
  • Lincoln was member of the Whig group.
  • Spoke against slavery in 1858 debates with Stephen Douglas. He lost his congressional seat.
  • Everyone knows Stephen Douglas and Lincoln debated but there were 2 other candidates of President. John Breckinridge and John Bell.
  • Lincoln swept the North and was elected president in 1860.
  • Lincoln suffered from melancholy. We now call this clinical depression.

The Lincoln family during the White House years.

Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, US Grant & Sherman. They were supporters of Lincoln.

Mary Lincoln tried to dress like the society women of her time. Most of the DC matrons did not like Mary Todd Lincoln. They felt that she was "too back woods".
 Mary Todd Lincoln      Mary Todd Lincoln - What Are They Wearing in Washington
She would have séances to try to contact her son Willie. She told her sister Elizabeth " he comes to my bed every night and stands by the bed.  The same sweet adorable smile he always had".  Two months later Mary's half brother Sam, died in battle wearing Confederate grey.  Mary was considered  a Confederate sympathizer.

There is a section called the Whispering Gallery. Even before the Lincoln's moved to the White House they were criticized and attacked personally & politically.  He was elected with 39% of the vote. He was never a popular president through his terms. In this section there are political cartoons, quote and newspapers that talked about every aspect of their lives. As you go through this section you hear voices whispering mean and unflattering things being said.
Whispering Gallery
Whispering Gallery

Emancipation - At the end of a routine meeting Lincoln wood surprised his cabinets by reading the draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. They told him to not pursue the issue. This did not stop him. His mind was made up that he would be issuing the proclamation. Lincoln got the Proclamation idea from Italy who had  freed their slaves. He knew to take care because it was going  to be controversial.  Later after, listening to his cabinets comments Lincoln decided to wait before issuing the document to the public. 

Emancipation Proclamation - Illusion Corridor.
Emancipation Proclamation - Illusion Corridor Immersive Exhibit

Secretary of State Williams told him it was too early to issue the proclamation. Lincoln took his advised and waited until after the Battle of  Antietam before issuing the proclamation. Postmaster Montgomery Blair and conservative Republicans did not want the proclamation to go through. Some said this goes too far. Some said it doesn't go far enough. Some said don't sign it. We can see which become popular by about how to handle slavery but ultimately the decision to write his alone.

The War started over slavery but mainly over the amount of money that slave owners could get. There is a war gallery which shows pictures of both sides the Union and Confederate side. There is also a section that is called the Soldier's story from the side of the Union / Confederate soldiers. There is a huge map that shows when the war happened and what casualty for each war and the date of each war.
The Civil War in Four Minutes 

Inside the gallery is a picture gallery of Lincoln from 1860- 1865. 1860 he looks like a middle aged men but a time 1865 comes he looks very thin and very haggard. Being a president of a large nation can take its toll. Just think about every president we have had. Accept for Ronald Regan, who religiously dyed his hair, all have come out white headed. Look at our current president Barack Obama. This is a stressful job.

Abraham Lincoln Forensic Study

Lincoln received a telegraph each almost every day with the most current information about the war front. During the later years of war he looked as if he weight of the world on his shoulders. Inside the gallery is a mural of half wall of his speech at Gettysburg surrounded by soldiers and civilians.

Lincoln was reelected as the war ends 1865. There is a soldier wall that shows what happened to soldiers Union and Confederate. Many died in Andersonville as a result of being starved to death.

John Wilkes Booth sneaking into the box of Abraham Lincoln and his wife. Mary held his hand and spoke her last words to her husband. She asked "What will Miss Harris think of my hanging on to you so?" Lincoln replied "She won't think anything about it". The last words Lincoln spoke.
Ford's TheatreDid you know that Booth placed his derringer pistol behind the president's left ear and shot him point blank? Booth leaped to the stage and Mary's scream echoed all through the theater.
Robert  Lincoln was 21 years old and had just come in from the battlefield to see his dad for the last time.

Lincoln last trip home was called a long trip home. The trained carry the body back to Springfield. In New York photographs were taken of Lincoln lying in state. Mary Lincoln thought it was highly disrespectful for this to happen to her husband. She demand that the pictures be stopped. The Sec of the War was caught between these two. He demanded that all pics confiscated. However one print did get out.

The funeral train took 15 days to complete. The trip went from Washington to Baltimore to Philly to New York Albany New York from Cleveland Columbus to North Paris Indianapolis Chicago and it finally ended in Springfield Illinois.

This is the room is a replica of the Hall of Representatives in the All State Capitol in Springfield. Lincoln's coffin and was here for the last public viewing. From throughout Illinois many came to pay their respect and grief. This room is for the living countries stormy past and remember the sacrifices made not only about Lincoln but by the many individuals who's history has been fought and bled and died for our shared ideals.

There is an 8 minute movie called The Ghost of Lincoln. It is one of the best documentary I've ever seen on a life on a person.

Across the street from the museum is the Lincoln Library. They have over 1,500 original documents. They also have over 2 million items in the library. The library is a magnet for scholars. One of the best things about it is anyone can go and study about Lincoln. You do not need a PHD behind your name!

They are currently running a exhibit called The Boys in Blue.

Some of the sites around town.

Across the street is a very beautiful park. It has two commemorative sculpture in it. The sculpture is called the Acts of Intolerance. It is two charred chimneys rising from the smoldering rubble of burned out buildings. It commemorate the centennial of the brutal Springfield Race Riots of 1908. The riot started as a result of an angry mob attacked black residents, looting and burning many of their homes and businesses upon learning that two black men - one accused of raping a white and the other killing a white man - had been secretly transported out of town by the sheriff for their protection. In protest, white rioters lynched two innocent black men, murdered five other citizens, and injured many more before state troops arrived to quell the violence. The white woman, Mabel Hallam, admitted she had been involved in an affair with a white lover and had lied about being assaulted by George Richardson, the accused black man. The other black prisoner, 17 year old Joe James was eventually convicted by a jury for murder and executed. News of the vicious race riot in Abraham Lincoln's home town, which occurred only blocks from the Lincoln homestead, shook the nation and became the catalyst for the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in New York City in 1909 on Lincoln's birthday. This was interesting to find this out. 




Lincoln said 'A Great Task" Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? This was from his 1st inaugural speech.

The train station had the Hollywood memorabilia from the movie Lincoln.

We left Springfield and continued on the St. Louis, MO.  As we came around the bend we could barely see the Arch. It got bigger as we got closer. We have been here before so we did not stop. Plus the Cardinals were playing and traffic was backed up.

We spent the night in our second very hotel, the Flying J.

Please note that the information on Lincoln came from the museum notes. The pics came from the Abe Lincoln web site as you are not allowed to take pics in most of the rooms.

Question of the Day

On what date was Lincoln assassinated?  

Well, until the next time Campers......

Lo & Bren

1 comment:

  1. Lincoln was assassinated April 14th, 1865. The Smithsonian Mag did a story on his bodyguard who was nowhere to be found - I still call shenanigans on that; there were collaborators. (Everyone needs a conspiracy theory, come on.)

    Meanwhile, AM A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED, HERE, WITH THE LACK OF GRAIN ELEVATOR MUSEUM PICTURES. You wound me with your lack of interest in the world around you, people.