Saturday, November 12, 2016

President Lincoln

Since Springfield, Illinois is right on our route from one church history site to another and since Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorite presidents of the United States of America, stopping at the Lincoln sites in Springfield was required.  If you plan to do this trip with your family, I humbly suggest that you put this on your list of things not to miss.  Give yourself the whole day.

Not so sure of the wax figurine of the young Abraham Lincoln.
The Abraham Lincoln Museum is comprehensive and engaging.  There are full sized replicas of the cabin where he was raised and the room where his body laid in state.  There are important artifacts such as his top hat, with warn marks where he would grab the brim to tip it to passers-by, and some of Mrs. Lincoln's wardrobe.  The natural course of the museum is carefully orchestrated, explaining the events of President Lincoln's life up to and including his time in office as well as the events leading up to and including the Civil War.  The video presentations are both excellent.

Seeking a peek at a train stop during a campaign tour.
A scene created with wax figures of a slave family being separated and sold at auction was troubling to everyone in the family.  It opened up dialog about slavery, racism, and human rights.  In addition to our experiences at the Henry Ford museum and the Rosa Parks bus, the deep-inside kind of learning about race issues in America will leave a deep mark on all of us, but especially our children.  These sites and the discussions afterword are life-changers.

Sweet girl, taking a turn holding our big baby.
In addition to the museum, there is a section of town that has been converted into a historical center.  It includes several houses and buildings, most notably, the home of Abraham and Mary Lincoln.  Much of the home is original and has been carefully preserved.

Mr. Lincoln's writing desk.
You can take an excellent tour of the home, then wander through some of the other homes with informational signs and displays.

Campaign wagon.

Finally, we visited the Lincoln Tomb.
It is a sacred site and feels reverent.

It was a full day of site-seeing and we were pretty wiped out at the end of the day.  There are several other things available that we just couldn't fit in because of time and the dynamic of our family.  I am so glad we saw what we did, though!

Funny girl and her giant souvenir penny.

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