Saturday, June 13, 2009

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The topic for the July 2009 edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival is obituaries.

This one is going to be a challenge of sorts.  The “rules” are quite simple:  Find a grave, then find the obituary, or vice versa.  Post your finds to your blog and submit it to the carnival.

What is Abe Lincoln doing on the Chicagoland Cemeteries blog?  Well for starters, Lincoln was our 16th president and he was prominent in the state of Illinois.  And because of this, Chicago was part of the Funeral Train that passed through several cities on it's way to its final destination in Springfield.

Since this is the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, there has been a lot of buzz this year about Lincoln.  I had the opportunity to visit his tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield and wanted to share it with you.  This felt like a good place, since there is a tie to Chicago, and this particular carnival seemed like a good opportunity to do so.

I couldn’t find an actual obituary (although I’m sure at least one exists), but I did find some interesting information related to the Chicago funeral.  Chicago was the second-to-last stop on the Funeral Train before heading to Springfield for Lincoln’s burial.  Lincoln’s body arrived in Chicago on 1 May 1865; there was a processional to the court house where he lay in state for viewing.  The train departed on the evening of 2 May 1865 en route to Springfield.

Following are some excerpts of interest related to the Chicago funeral, as well as photos.










Interesting Facts (abstracted from a pamphlet out out by Batesville Casket Company, Inc.:

  • Lincoln’s son, Willie, who died in 1862, was disinterred and went with Lincoln’s body on the Funeral Train.
  • Lincoln’s body was embalmed in a way that allowed for him to be viewed for nearly three weeks.
  • “It is estimated that one million people viewed President Lincoln’s body from the time of his death until his burial in Springfield, Illinois.”
  • Lincoln and his son were placed in a temporary vault until the tomb was completed in 1874.
  • After attempts to steal Lincoln’s body, his son Robert decided that a new burial chamber be constructed to protect the body.
  • Lincoln’s coffin now rests in a cage “10 feet deep, encased in 4,000 pounds of concrete.”


Judith Richards Shubert

This was a great post, Julie! It's been a while since I've read about Lincoln's last ride. I also learned some things in your post I did not know, such as his son Robert taking steps to protect his grave. Thanks for this look back at our 16th President.

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