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Friday, November 11, 2016

Lincoln's Tomb

Above, the front of Lincoln's tomb. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The reason I went from Memphis, Tennessee to Springfield, Illinois was to see the home and tomb of President Abraham Lincoln, as well as the Lincoln Museum.

I headed up from Memphis and it was an almost all-day drive. It rained from St. Louis on to Springfield.

I checked into the Double J Campground and RV Park in nearby (about 5 miles) Chatham. It was a nice campground with plenty of trees for shade.

I first went to Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield to visit President Abraham Lincoln's tomb. It is an imposing structure with striking Civil War sculptures and topped with an obelisk. Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. in April 1865.

When I arrived, there was a school group there, but after they left, I pretty much had the place to myself except for the docent guide. He was very helpful in explaining things about the tomb.

Above, yours truly at Lincoln's tomb.

There was an attempt to steal Lincoln's coffin in 1876. The attempted theft is explained in detail here. Originally, Lincoln's coffin was in an above-ground sarcophagus. The thieves hack-sawed their way inside through the tomb's original entrance. After this episode, Robert Lincoln (the President's eldest son) ordered that the coffin be buried 10 feet under and sealed with concrete.

The first room one sees upon entering the tomb is a round rotunda-like room with a statue of Lincoln in the center. From there, to reach the burial room, there are 2 hallways, each with statues depicting different periods of Lincoln's life.

Then, the burial room is reached. Lincoln's burial place is marked with a large pedestal on top. The remains of wife Mary Todd Lincoln, sons Edward Lincoln, William Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln are entombed in a wall opposite of Lincoln's. Son Robert Lincoln is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Before the permanent tomb was built, Lincoln was placed in a temporary tomb. A marker marks the location where it once stood.

Below, photos of my visit to the tomb:

Above, the sculpture by Gutzon Borglum, who sculpted Mt. Rushmore,
 in front of the tomb. The nose is shiny from people rubbing it. Rubbing
 Lincoln's nose supposedly brings good luck. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the famous words by Sec. of War Edwin Stanton. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the location of the temporary tomb is marked. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the tomb's original entrance. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, the rotunda. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, one of the sculptures inside the tomb's hallways as are the two that follow. Photos by Armand Vaquer.

Above, Abraham Lincoln's burial chamber. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, Lincoln's grave. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, son Thomas Lincoln. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Above, sons Edward and William. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

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