“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

Looking for Lincoln

Great Western Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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

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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 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
Erected by State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency & Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable PlacesRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1865.
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

Great Western Depot image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Pfingsten, June 16, 2011
2. Great Western Depot
Street. 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. Great Western Railroad Depot (here, next to this marker); Lincoln’s Farewell to Springfield (a few steps from this marker); The Lincoln Depot (a few steps from this marker); Lincoln and Animals (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kenneth Belton (approx. 0.2 miles away); 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 20, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 455 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 20, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

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Sep. 23, 2023