Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Commissioned by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, J. Seward Johnson, Jr.'s Return Visit is the most true-to-life statue of Abraham Lincoln ever created. An 1865 cast of Lincoln's face by Clark Mills, and an 1860 cast of Lincoln's hands by Leonard Volk defined the starting point of Johnson's work. He sculpted Lincoln and then dressed the statue with a replica suit and coat, patterned from clothing once worn by the President. The shoes are based on an outline made by Lincoln's immigrant boot-maker, Pennsylvania Peter Khaler.
The bronze Lincoln points with his hat toward the second floor of the Wills House, where he probably finished writing his Gettysburg Address. A late-twentieth-century tourist's eyes follow the President's uplifted hand. At the November 19, 1991 dedication, sculptor J. Seward Johnson remarked,
"I grew to feel Lincoln, the man, the individual.... a person of great dignity and vision.... I wanted him here on the sidewalk within our reach. That's why I have done my best to bring Lincoln to the likeness of life.... to live amongst us and among the coming generations of Americans.
Erected by Main Street Gettysburg, Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1863.
Location. 39° 49.84′ N, 77° 13.846′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Baltimore Street (Business U.S. 15) and York Street (U.S. 30), on the right when traveling north on Baltimore Street. Located on the southeast quadrant of the Gettysburg traffic circle. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wills House (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Wills House (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Wills House (a few steps from this marker); Old Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The Stoever - Schick Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Company K, First Pennsylvania Reserves (within shouting distance of this marker); Citizens of Gettysburg (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln Square Building (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. On the right is The only known photograph of Lincoln at the Soldier's National Cemetery site, November 19, 1863. (Image courtesy of the Gettysburg National Military Park, National Park Service.) Interspersed within the text are smaller photos of The 1865 cast of Lincoln's face by Clark Mills, the 1863 cast of Lincoln's hands by Leonard Volk, and the shoe diagram made by Peter Khaler. At the lower left is a photo of the statue. The Lincoln statue, standing 6'4" tall and weighing 700 pounds, is finely crafted down to Lincoln's watch chain and an authentic-appearing label in his hat. The visitor statue weighs 400 pounds, wears contemporary clothing, and holds a text of the Gettysburg Address in his hand.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,145 times since then and 122 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 12, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 2. submitted on August 14, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 3. submitted on July 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.