Springfield in Sangamon County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices
prepared and wrote his
first inaugural address
as President of the
in the third story of this
building in the month of
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1861.
Location. 39° 48.029′ N, 89° 38.886′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of E Adams Street and South 6th Street, on the left when traveling north. The Law Offices occupy a building on the southwest corner of E Adams Street and 6th on a plaza closed to traffic. The marker is on the front of the building facing the Old State Capitol to the north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Their Springfield Prime (here, next to this marker); Lincoln's Springfield (here, next to this marker); Streetscape 1859 The Lincoln Boys in 1854 (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices (a few steps from this marker); Old State Capitol (within shouting distance of this marker); C. M. & S. Smith Store (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bath & Barber Shop (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
1. The Lincoln Speech
In an effort to avoid the crush of people giving their last minute business and farewell messages Lincoln hid away in a third floor dusty store room in the building next door to his law office. A brother in law, C. M. Smith, had operated a dry-goods store on the bottom floor.
To prepare for the speech Lincoln took only four items as sources: Copy of the “United States Constitution”, Henry Clay’s “1850 Compromise Speech”, Andrew Jackson’s “Proclamation Against Nullification”, and Webster’s “Reply to Hayne”.
Upon completion Lincoln’s friend William H.
Lincoln locked the speech copies and other papers in a black oilcloth handbag. In starting the trip from Springfield to Washington, D. C. Lincoln gave the bag to his son Robert with instructions to keep it safe.
At the “Bates House” hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana Lincoln was needing the speech to review with Senator Orville Browning. Looking for Robert it was discovered that Robert had gone out with the Young Republicans of the Indianapolis area for entertainment. Directions were given to find Robert.
After approximately an hour Robert appeared all out of breath and was asked where is the black bag entrusted to him. Robert states giving it to the “Bates House” hotel clerk who put it behind the counter with all the other luggage in the lobby.
Lincoln quickly bounded down the stairs, leaped over the counter, and found the bag and the speech safe and sound in the still locked bag.
— Submitted May 7, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 17, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 7, 2008, by Angie Shaffer of Springfield, Illinois. This page has been viewed 2,130 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 7, 2008, by Angie Shaffer of Springfield, Illinois. 4. submitted on January 10, 2008, by Angie Shaffer of Springfield, Illinois. 5. submitted on January 12, 2008, by Angie Shaffer of Springfield, Illinois. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.