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“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)
 

Lincoln's Hat

 
 
Lincoln's Hat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
1. Lincoln's Hat Marker
Inscription.
Lincoln reportedly has a "very defective taste" in hats. At various times he was known to have worn fur caps, straw or palm hats, and broad, low-brimmed wool or felt hats. He is best known for the "plug" or stovepipe hats he wore as a lawyer and as president. "His hat was brown and faded and the nap invariably worn or rubbed off," a friend remembered. Another complained that Lincoln's tall hat "was not always exquisitely groomed"---that it settled heavily on top of his wide ears. Another said that the hat Lincoln wore at the Lincoln-Douglas debates was "much worse for ware." Perhaps this was because Lincoln habitually used his hat as a desk and filing cabinet---stuffing letters, legal papers, and scribbled speech notes inside it.. This was not always wise. As a Congressman attending the 1849 inauguration of President Zachary Taylor, Lincoln supposedly had his hat stolen---losing whatever literary treasures were inside it!

Photo
Few photographs exist of Lincoln wearing a had. All were taken in the field with Union soldiers---none in Illinois.

Hats were important to men in Lincoln's day. All men and boys wore one. Americans in the mid-19th century sported a wide variety of caps and hats. A friend of Lincoln's stated, "Hats are the item of dress that does more than any other for the improvement of one's personal

Lincoln is his stovepipe hat. image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
2. Lincoln is his stovepipe hat.
appearance." Hats also marked a man's social status. Working men wore soft felt hats of every shape. Cloth railroad caps were also popular. Young men and boys liked dark wool sea caps with leather bills (Tad Lincoln pictured). Stiff felt bowlers and silk )replacing beaver) stovepipes adorned upper-middle-class businessmen. George Hall, who ran a haberdasher's shop (1860) on the west side of the square, is said to have made one of the stovepipe hats that Lincoln wore.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 39° 48.051′ N, 89° 38.965′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on 5th Street just north of E. Adams 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. Mary Lincoln's Ring (here, next to this marker); Streetscape 1859 (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Streetscape 1859 (within shouting distance of this marker); Illinois State Register (within shouting distance of this marker); Campaign Poles (within shouting distance of this marker);
Tad Lincoln holding his hat. image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
3. Tad Lincoln holding his hat.
Lincoln's Dentist (within shouting distance of this marker); Curran's Jewelry Shop (within shouting distance of this marker); Soldiers of the War of 1812 (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Springfield.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 357 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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