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Stealing Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated In 1865, His Final Burial Didn’t Come Until 1901- The Plot To Steal The Corpse Of Abraham Lincoln

A band of Chicago counterfeiters hatched a plot to steal the President’s body from its tomb outside Springfield, Illinois, and hold it for a ransom of $200,000. A paid informant told the newly formed Secret Service. When both the police and the criminals showed up at the cemetery on the appointed night, the scheme was foiled. The coffin was moved and stored in various discreet locations in the cemetery over the following years. Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s son, decided to encase the president’s coffin in steel and concrete to prevent future disturbance.

Before the final interment, workers re-interring the president decided it was necessary to once again view Abraham Lincoln’s remains to prevent  rumors that the body was not Lincolns, in the soon to be permanent grave.

Two plumbers, Leon P. Hopkins and his nephew, Charles L. Willey, chiseled an oblong piece out of the top of the lead-lined coffin. The piece these two men cut out was just over Mr. Lincoln’s head and shoulders. When the casket was opened, a harsh, choking smell arose. 23 people slowly walked forward and peered down. Mr. Lincoln’s features were totally recognizable. His face had a melancholy expression, but his black chin whiskers hadn’t changed at all. The wart on his cheek and the coarse black hair were obvious characteristics of Mr. Lincoln’s. The biggest change was that the eyebrows had vanished. The president was wearing the same suit he wore at his second inauguration, but it was covered with yellow mold. Additionally there were some bits of red fabric (possibly the remnants of an American flag buried with Mr. Lincoln). All 23 people were unanimous in their agreement that the remains were indeed those of Abraham Lincoln.

The frequent embalming required for the deceased president’s seven-state funeral procession probably accounted for the impressive extent of the corpse’s preservation. Witnesses unanimously agreed that the coffin contained Lincoln’s remains.

The coffin was placed in a steel cage, buried 10 feet below the ground, and encased in concrete—permanently interred in a monument befitting Lincoln’s status. There Abraham Lincoln remains, at rest only after his coffin was moved 17 times and opened six. His final resting place, located in Oak Hill Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois, is and will continue to be one of the most sacred of historical landmarks in the United States.

Credit and original source:

Credit and original source:

Oak Ridge Cemetery renovation


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The final resting place of Abraham Lincoln has recently received a major renovation that will allow visitors of the 150 anniversary of his funeral to enter Oak Ridge Cemetery through the original gate through which the hearse and coffin came in 1865.

The original funeral procession came through an entrance on the east side of the cemetery along First Street that was closed after a new entrance through Monument Avenue had been established.

The original wooden archway over the entrance deteriorated over time and has been replaced with one made of brushed aluminum textured to look like wood. The original dirt entrance road is now a concrete walkway with a gate and bollards that can be opened and closed for foot traffic. 

The restoration project involved more than $200.000 in donations of materials and services by 14 local companies as well as a $25,000 grant to the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association made it possible to turn the rusted, aged and largely forgotten iron gate into the entrance that long ago marked the final chapter in a two week train ride to bring Abraham Lincoln home.

From Allthingslincoln on Tumblr

Lincoln's carriage



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 The above pictures show the arrival of a carriage Abraham Lincoln used during his White House years and it will be part of a major new exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum titled "Undying Words".

The exhibit that officially opens November 22 features original versions of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, plus the 13th Amendment, a 7-foot-tall ‘Rail Splitter’ portrait, and various interactives.

 From All Things Lincoln on Tumblr


Traces of Lincoln's Courthouse Found in Illinois

DAVID PROEBER, The Pantagraph

BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS—Excavations at the McLean County Museum of History have uncovered part of the footprint of the 1836 courthouse where Abraham Lincoln often worked as an attorney. “They found the corner and now can plot out the exact location. These are the physical remains of an incredibly historical episode in McLean County,” museum director Greg Koos told The Pantagraph. The two-story brick structure replaced a wood-frame building, until it was eventually torn down and replaced in 1868. Archaeologists Christopher Stratton and Floyd Mansberger of Fever River Research also found a line of fence posts, and they recovered pieces of glass, a pipe stem, ceramic pieces, spikes, and nails. The researchers will dig in the four corners of the property, including the site of two early jails.
Read more at The Pantograph

Henry O. Nightingale- Eyewitness To History


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Henry O. Nightingale- Eyewitness To History-

The Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln

His 1865 diary describes one of the most infamous events in American history. On April 14, Nightingale attended a performance at Ford’s Theatre. There, he witnessed the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. Nightingale recounted the horrific scene, writing:


A beautiful April day. Remained all day in the Hospital. In the evening, attended Ford’s Theatre and in the last act a most astounding crime was committed the President; Mr. Lincoln, shot through the head, the assassin then leaped out of the box on the stage and drew a large dagger and exclaimed “I have done it. Virginia is avenged. Sic semper tyrannis” and made his escape. the President was conveyed to a neighboring house in dying condition. a fearful night is this. Other [monstrous] crimes the Secretary of State his sons and [illegible] servants staffed found [illegible] God pit the rebellion now for men, will how no mercy death to every Confederate my Rebel sympathies, intense excitement all over the City. is under Martial Law.

Henry O. Nightingale (1844-1919) was an abolitionist from Rochester, New York who at 18 years of age enlisted in the Northern army at the start of the Civil War. Nightingale fought in numerous battles, including the Battle of Gettysburg.

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

Lincoln's pillow fight

When Leonard Swett first met Abraham Lincoln, the Springfield lawyer was engaged in a very serious pillow fight with judge David Davis.

Swett joined the Illinois court circuit in the 1850s, befriended Lincoln and became also a key organizer of the 1860 Chicago Republican National Convention and the 1864 presidential election.

When Leonard Swett had his first appearance on the circuit, he sought to introduce himself to Judge Davis, who at the time stayed at a small inn, along with other lawyers.

John C. Waugh in “One Man Great Enough” describes best what happened:

“Directed to Judge Davis’s room, he climbed the stairway of the hotel with some trepidation, being brought up to believe judges were men “of more or less gravity,” to be approached with “some degree of deference.” 

His timid, uncertain knock was answered with a “come in,” uttered almost simultaneously. Swett entered the room and saw Davis and Lincoln in their nightshirts engaged in a pillow fight.

Davis, low and heavy-set, was leaning against the foot of the bed puffing “like a lizard.”

Lincoln who looked to Swett, compared to Davis, to be eight feet tall, was “encased in a long, indescribable garment, yellow as saffron, which reached to his heels, and from beneath which protruded two of the largest feet I had, up to that time, been in the habit of seeing.” 
The only thing keeping the nightshirt from slipping off the tall angular frame was a single button at the throat. 

“Certainly,” Swett later wrote, “the ungodliest figure I had ever seen.””

From All things Lincoln on Tumblr

‘Lincoln’ coming to Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Sets and costumes from the Steven Spielberg movie, "Lincoln" to go on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex

 Key sets, costumes and props from the award-winning movie “Lincoln” are coming to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, where they will be on display for many years to come. Children can explore the exhibit free of charge when accompanied by an adult.

 The exhibit, “Lincoln: From History to Hollywood,” will present Lincoln’s office, where much of the movie takes place as the president ponders how to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, and a vignette of Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, the setting for emotional confrontations between husband and wife

It will be displayed at Union Station, just across the street from the presidential museum. The station will serve as an annex to the presidential museum, where visitors can tour the exhibit and see video presentations about the movie. The exhibit opens early in 2014.

Continue reading "‘Lincoln’ coming to Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum" »

Abraham Lincoln Shooting, Fatal Injury Documented In Unearthed Report By Dr. Charles Leale

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The first doctor to reach President Abraham Lincoln after he was shot in a Washington theater rushed to his ceremonial box and found him paralyzed, comatose and leaning against his wife. Dr. Charles Leale ordered brandy and water to be brought immediately.

Leale's long-lost report of efforts to help the mortally wounded president, written just hours after his death, was discovered in a box at the National Archives late last month.

The Army surgeon, who sat 40 feet from Lincoln at Ford's Theater that night in April 1865, saw assassin John Wilkes Booth jump to the stage, brandishing a dagger. Thinking Lincoln had been stabbed, Leale pushed his way to the victim but found a different injury.

Continue reading "Abraham Lincoln Shooting, Fatal Injury Documented In Unearthed Report By Dr. Charles Leale" »

The man who shot John Wilkes Booth

Thomas P. “Boston” Corbett-The Man that Killed John Wilkes Booth was “Mad as a Hatter” - 

Corbett castrated himself with a pair of scissors in order to avoid the temptation of prostitutes. He then ate a meal and went to a prayer meeting, before going for medical treatment.

He disappeared after 1888, but circumstantial evidence suggests that he died in the Great Hinckley Fire in 1894, although this remains impossible to substantiate. Born in England, He became a hatter in Troy, New York. It has been suggested that the fumes of mercury used in the hatter’s trade caused Corbett’s later mental problems.

Corbett shot Booth with his Colt revolver despite Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton’s orders that Booth should be taken alive. Eyewitness Lieutenant Edward Doherty, the officer in charge of the soldiers who captured Booth and Herold, stated that “the bullet struck Booth in the back of the head, about an inch below the spot where his shot had entered the head of Mr. Lincoln.” His spinal cord was severed, and he died two hours later. When asked later why he did it, Corbett answered that “Providence directed me”

Boston Corbett was immediately arrested for violation of his orders, but Stanton later had the charges dropped. Stanton remarked, “The rebel is dead. The patriot lives.” Corbett received his share of the reward money, amounting to $1,653.84

From The Civil War Parlor