“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Springfield in Sangamon County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Great Western Depot

Great Western Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
1. Great Western Depot Marker
Throngs give big sendoff to Lincoln Monday morning
February 11, 1861 dawned dismal and gray. A chilling drizzle soakedthe dirt roads of the capital. At 7:30 A.M., a carriage pulled up here in front of the depot, and President-elect Lincoln climbed out. He found hundreds of well-wishers waiting in the rain. Inside the depot he shook hands. Lincoln reentered the street shortly before eight. Onlookers respectfully parted to the right and left as he walked to a train car a few yards north of the depot. He stopped on the rear car platform, took off his hat, and addressed the people of Springfield for the last time. The Illinois State Journal reported: "We have known Mr. Lincoln for many years...but we never saw him so profoundly affected, nor did he ever utter an address which seemed to us so full of simple and touching eloquence...God Bless honest Abraham Lincoln." The whole affair---from Lincoln's arrival to his departure---took no more than thirty minutes.

Lincoln's inaugural trip, to Washington, D.C., was fraught with danger. In the South, secessionists were establishing a new government and arming for war. In Washington, rumors abounded of secessionist plots to seize the capital city. In Springfield, Lincoln was receiving death threats. Secretary of State designee William Seward pled with Lincoln

Great Western Depot image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
2. Great Western Depot
to come to Washington "by surprise---without announcement." Not since George Washington's first inaugural trip from Mt. Vernon to New York City in 1789 had an American president made such a dramatic, public journey prior to assuming office. Why did Lincoln overrule caution and begin a twelve-day roundabout itinerary that took him through seven states with overnight stops in nine major cities? He never specifically said. Historians speculate that he hoped his trip would rally support for the Union.

Map of Inaugural Trip
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 47.954′ N, 89° 38.544′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is at the intersection of E. Monroe Street and 10th Street on E. Monroe Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Great Western Railroad Depot (here, next to this marker); Lincolnís Farewell to Springfield (a few steps from this marker); The Lincoln Depot (a few steps from this marker); Lincoln-Era Fire Companies (approx. 0.2 miles away); Florville's Barber Shop (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lincoln's Horse (approx. 0.2 miles away); William Beedle House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Henson Lyon House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Springfield.
Categories. Notable PlacesRailroads & Streetcars

Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 242 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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