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Vandalia in Fayette County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Lincoln Attends Funerals

1835

 
 
Lincoln Attends Funerals Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
1. Lincoln Attends Funerals Marker
Inscription. On June 12, 1823, the Third General Assembly, meeting in the newly formed city of Vandalia, conveyed one and one-half acres of land to the city of Vandalia, with the proviso that the land be used as a burial ground. This is the location of that original cemetery property. One-half acre was reserved for members of the legislature who might die while serving at the capital. During this time period, weather conditions could prevent the transfer of a body home for burial. The body could easily decompose in the withering summer heat – or suffer further indignities from the crude forms of transportation currently available. The most humane and practical solution, then, was to bury the body as quickly as possible on nearby land. In point of fact, churches and cemeteries were some of the first landmarks to appear in the recently settled villages and towns on the Illinois prairie. Life and death existed side by side in this oftentimes harsh and demanding environment.

Four legislators and one Federal judge were buried at this cemetery in Vandalia. Abraham Lincoln attended funerals for two of his fellow legislators who died while serving here. Abraham Lincoln, like most of his peers and neighbors, was certainly no stranger to death. At any [sic – an] early age, Lincoln’s mother died, and as a young man he experienced
Lincoln Attends Funerals Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
2. Lincoln Attends Funerals Marker
the death of his sister and his sweetheart, Ann Rutledge. After his marriage to Mary Todd, he suffered the loss of two sons, Edward in 1850, and William in 1862. During the 1850’s and 1860’s, sprawling, park-like cemeteries were built throughout the country, particularly in the northeast. Lincoln gave one of his most famous speeches at one of these new cemeteries in Pennsylvania – the Gettysburg Address.

On January 10, 1836 Abraham Lincoln attended the funeral of Representative Benjamin A. Clark from Wayne County. On January 11, 1836 all members of the House voted to donate their day’s pay to Clark’s wife and children. The state officials’ tombstone in South Hill Cemetery in Vandalia, shown above, memorializes the four state officials who died here other than Benjamin Clark. Their remains were moved to that cemetery in 1871.

On February 3, 1835, Major William McHenry, from White County passed away. A memorial service was conducted in the House Chambers for Representative McHenry. Representative Webb of White County delivered the eulogy. The eulogy read in part: “Sir, he was among the most prominent of those bold and enterprising pioneers….who first disputed the mastery over these fair plains….with the ferocious beast of prey, and still more ferocious savage.” Lincoln attended this funeral, among many others. This obituary ran in the February
Lincoln Attends Funerals Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
3. Lincoln Attends Funerals Marker
Looking north toward 3rd and Edwards Streets
5, 1835 issue of the Illinois Advocate and State Register that was published in Vandalia.
 
Erected 2008 by Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 38° 57.447′ N, 89° 5.57′ W. Marker is in Vandalia, Illinois, in Fayette County. Click for map. Marker is in the Old State Cemetery, near 3rd and Edwards Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Vandalia IL 62471, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William C. Greenup (a few steps from this marker); Ferdinand Ernst (a few steps from this marker); Robert Blackwell (within shouting distance of this marker); George Leidig (within shouting distance of this marker); Elijah Conway Berry (within shouting distance of this marker); James W. Berry (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Prentice (within shouting distance of this marker); Mary Hall and son James (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Vandalia.
 
Also see . . .
1. Old State Cemetery. (Submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Old State Cemetery. (Submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Obituary on Lincoln Attends Funerals Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, undated
4. Obituary on Lincoln Attends Funerals Marker

3. Looking For Lincoln Story Trail. (Submitted on May 15, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesPatriots & PatriotismPoliticsSettlements & Settlers
 
4" Lincoln Attends Funerals Rubbing Medallion image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
5. 4" Lincoln Attends Funerals Rubbing Medallion
Looking For Lincoln Story Trail Logo image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 10, 2011
6. Looking For Lincoln Story Trail Logo
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 498 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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