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Lincoln & Civil War Legacy Trail
200 Piasa St Alton, Illinois 62002
Visitors can pick up the Lincoln & Civil War Legacy Trail guide at the Alton Visitor's Center, located at 200 Piasa Street (across from Argosy Casino) in Downtown Alton. While some of the sites are within walking distance of each other, most will require some mode of transportation. The trail is self-guided, and visitors can explore the sites in any order they wish.
Lincoln's first visits to Alton can be traced back to the early 1840s. Experience the life of young Lincoln as a lawyer, duelist and orator. It was here that the final Lincoln-Douglas Debate took place, with the issue of slavery on the minds spectators. It was here that Confederate soldiers were held captive, died and were buried. It was here that Alton resident and U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull authored the 13th Amendment, putting an end to slavery in the United States.
Walk in the footsteps of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Civil War soldiers from both North and South, as you explore the lasting legacies of Lincoln in Alton.
The new trail connects ten historic sites in Alton relating to Lincoln's time spent here and the city's connections to the Civil War. The journey begins with Lincoln & Douglas in Lincoln-Douglas Square. Subsequent sites include: Ryder Building, Smallpox Island and Lincoln-Shields Duel sites, Lovejoy Monument, National Cemetery, Lyman Trumbull House, Confederate Cemetery, Alton Prison and Franklin House. At each of the sites, visitors will find interpretive panels that further tell the story of each site and Alton's connections to American history.
930 E. Monroe St. Springfield, Illinois 62701
Restored 1852 train depot, from which President-Elect Abraham Lincoln departed for Washington D.C. on February 11, 1861. Lincoln gave one of his most memorable speeches from the back of a train at this location.
When Lincoln left his hometown as president-elect, he paid an unforgettable tribute to his friends and neighbors known today as the Farewell Address. Lincoln gave these remarks as he boarded a special inaugural train at the Great Western Railroad Depot. Located just two blocks from the Lincoln Home.
The Depot is also home to a wayside exhibit that helps interpret the important activities that happened at this location. View over 40 outdoor interpretive exhibits placed throughout the downtown area to experience Springfield as Abraham Lincoln knew it. Each exhibit is intended to capture a moment in time for Lincoln and how he was affected by the people, places and events he encountered in his hometown. Each story is accompanied by graphics or photographs and a medallion that is symbolic of that particular story. Visitors are encouraged to collect rubbings of each medallion.
Lincoln Family Pew
321 S. 7th St Springfield, Illinois 62701
After you visited the Lincoln Home Neighborhood, cross Capital Avenue and stop by the First Presbyterian Church, which houses the original Lincoln family pew. The Lincolns purchased it for $50 when the congregation worshipped in its previous location, which is no longer standing.
The Lincoln family began attending services in 1850 after the death of three-year-old Edward Lincoln. The pastor, Dr. James Smith, had conducted Eddie's funeral in the Lincoln home. Abraham Lincoln did not formally join the church, but his wife became a member on April 13, 1852. Their two-year-old son Thomas (Tad) was baptized in the church on April 4, 1855, and his funeral would later be held there on July 17, 1871.
You may view the pew, and seven beautiful Tiffany windows, when you walk inside. Take advantage of the guided tours, which include information about the Louis Comfort Tiffany Windows and the Lincoln Family's relationship to First Church.
702 S. Wrights St. Urbana, Illinois 61801
The University of Illinois holds many treasures, chief among them in Lincoln Hall, a classroom building dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and commissioned in 1909, as a centennial remembrance. The impressive terracotta friezes, which ring the building, tell the story of Lincoln’s life and were created for the American Terra Cotta Company by Kristian Schneider. Inside the hall, an entrance fit for a president enshrines a famed Lincoln bust by Herman Atkins McNeil, and a plaque bearing the Gettysburg Address.
Lincoln the Lawyer
400 W Indiana Ave (Carle Park) Urbana, IL 61801
Renowned sculptor Lorado Taft created this bronze likeness of the young Lincoln in 1926. It recalls Lincoln’s early days of practicing law on the Circuit, when his friend Joseph Cunningham-whose wife commissioned the sculpture—knew him. It graces Urbana’s Carle Park.
Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park & Memorial
2676 S Lincoln Memorial Pkwy Decatur, Illinois 62522
The Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial is a 162- acre state park located on the Sangamon River in Macon County. This was Abraham Lincoln's first home in Illinois and where he spent the winter of the deep snow. The park offers hiking, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, bird watching, recreational activities and a historical glimpse to the past through QR codes, kiosks, and memorials. The park is open May – November and is a day use park. No camping is allowed.
Lincoln-Era Log Cabin Village
1419 Bonansinga Dr. Quincy, Illinois 62301
The Village consists of seven original cabins located on Quinsippi Island and built in the 1800’s, including the 1850 Clat Adams Log Cabin dedicated to Adams, who was a riverboat captain and storekeeper in Quincy. Some of the cabins have been refurbished and professionally restored by the Friends of the Log Cabins group.
1 Henry Street Alton, IL 62002
A member of the Illinois State Legislature at the time, Lincoln criticized Illinois Auditor James Shields' method of collecting taxes. Pretending to be a widow from the "Lost Townships," Lincoln wrote a series of letters to the editor of the Sangamon Journal making satirical allusions to Shields. Mary Todd and her friend Julia Jayne joined in the ruse by writing a letter containing vicious personal attacks, calling Shields a fool and liar. Shields challenged Lincoln to a duel when he learned of Lincoln's complicity in the letter writing. Feeling the entire situation ludicrous, Lincoln nonetheless followed custom and chose an island across the river from Alton as the site for the duel on September 22, 1842, with "Calvary broadswords of the largest size" as the weapons of choice. As Lincoln's long arms swung the broad- sword at a branch on a nearby willow tree, Shields wisely decided to settle the disagreement like gentlemen. The site marker can be found along the riverwalk, across from the Riverfront Amphitheater, looking out on the Mississippi River.