Joshua Speed's Store
There was a housing shortage in Springfield when 28 year old Abraham Lincoln---riding a borrowed horse---moved here from New Salem in April 1837. Builders couldn't keep up with the newly designated state capital. One of Lincoln's first stops was at the general store located here. An old New Salem friend, Abner Y. Ellis, was part-owner. But Ellis was not in when Lincoln called. Instead, he was greeted by another partner, Joshua Speed. Lincoln needed furnishings for a bed, but admitted he couldn't afford them. "I looked up at him," Speed recalled, and thought...I never saw so gloomy and melancholy a face." Speed offered to share his second floor room and large double-bed with Lincoln. Without saying a word, Lincoln threw his saddle-bags over his arm, trudged up stairs, and dropped them on the floor. Coming down again "with a face beaming with pleasure and smiles," Lincoln declared: "Well Speed, I'm moved."
Joshua F. Speed was 22 years old and part-owner of the store that stood here in 1837. Speed was the son of an affluent Kentucky plantation owner and had more formal education than Lincoln. The two roommates shared anxieties about women and consoled each other in matters of courtship and marriage. Their deep friendship lasted throughout Lincoln's life.
Men outnumbered women almost
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 48.092′ N, 89° 38.997′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on E. Washington Street. Touch for map. Between 4th and 5th Streets. 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. Brunwick's Billiard Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln's Last Law Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Streetscape 1859 (within shouting distance of this marker); Stuart and Lincoln Law Office (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wedding of the Rose and the Lotus (within shouting distance of this marker); Mary Lincoln's Ring (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln's Hat (about 300 feet away); Illinois State Register (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
Categories. • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 28, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 493 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 28, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.