Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

Today Bob and I were in Springfield, Illinois to visit the Lincoln Museum. We were quite impressed with this museum. Unlike many we have seen that cater to the adult scholar, this museum presents history in a way to which all ages can relate. Throughout the exhibits are life-sized figures depicting Lincoln's life, many of which you may walk through.

The cabin in Little Pigeon Creek, IN where Lincoln's mother died. After his father remarried, Abe and his sister shared the one room cabin with his father, stepmother, a step sister and two stepbrothers.

Lincoln's debate with US Senator Stephen A. Douglas gave Abe a national reputation. Although he lost the Senate election, Lincoln became the dark horse candidate for president in 1860.

This poster explains the voting results for the 1860 election. With only 39% of the popular vote, Lincoln was very unpopular.

Mary Todd Lincoln was also unpopular in Washington DC society. She was patronized for her alleged western vulgarity and accused of extravagance when restoring genuine elegance to a shabby White House.

Here we are hanging out with Abe, Mary, and their sons Robert, Tad and Willie.

The Emancipation Proclamation, it was pointed out to us, did not actually emancipate anyone. The south, which had slaves, had already seceded. The north, which was under Lincoln's control, had no slaves. It did not apply to slaves in border states fighting on the Union side nor did it affect slaves in southern states already under the Union's control. But it did show the world that the civil war was now being fought to end slavery. The passage of the 13th Amendment on December 18, 1865 ended slavery.

Lincoln was re-elected for a second term but was assassinated at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth (seen slipping through a door at the right of this scene.)

Since it has been many, many years since we studied Lincoln in grade school, this was a fascinating look at the life of one of our most famous Presidents. We really liked this museum.

Tomorrow we move on to Indiana.

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