Abraham Lincoln's Illinois Main
Watch Video
Lincoln's Life

Lincoln Minutes

The Life of Lincoln

Lincoln's Journey

Lincoln Quotes

Lincoln Minutes

The Life of Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln's Journey Through Illinois
Lincoln Quotes

The Life of Abraham Lincoln

A Timelinefrom Lincoln's birth to the day his home is opened to the public.

February 12, 1809: Abraham Lincoln was born in then Hardin County, Kentucky, about three miles of Hodgenville, Kentucky.

October 5, 1818: Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, dies of milk sickness.

December 2, 1819: Thomas Lincoln, Abraham's father, marries Mrs. Sarah Bush Johnston, who becomes Abraham's stepmother.

March 1, 1830: Thomas Lincoln, Abraham's brother, and his family start for Illinois. Abraham, one of thirteen in the move, drives one of the wagons.

March 15, 1830: The Lincoln family settles ten miles southwest of Decatur, Illinois on the north bank of the Sangamon River (which is the present Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park).

September ??, 1831: Lincoln begins clerking in Denton Offutt's new store in New Salem.

March 9, 1832: Lincoln becomes a candidate for the legislature on a platform favoring the improvement of navigation on the Sangamon River, changes in the usury laws, and universal education

April 7, 1832: Lincoln is elected a captain in the 31stRegiment, Illinois Militia.

April 21, 1832: Lincoln is elected captain for the Black Hawk War by the New Salem neighborhood.

May 7, 1833: President Jackson appoints Lincoln postmaster at New Salem. He serves until May 30, 1836, when the office is discontinued.

August 4, 1834: Lincoln is elected in his second attempt to the Illinois House of Representatives as a representative from Sangamon County.

December 1, 1834: Lincoln takes his seat in the 55-member Illinois House of Representatives at Vandalia.

August 25, 1835: Lincoln's renowned sweetheart, Ann Rutledge, dies at her farm seven miles Northwest of New Salem.

February 13, 1836: Lincoln promotes the proposed Beardstown and Sangamon Canal to a large Crowd in Petersburg.

March 24, 1836: Lincoln starts his journey of obtaining a license to practice law when his name was entered on the Sangamon Circuit Court as a "person of good moral character."

September 9, 1836: Lincoln receives a law license in all courts of Illinois.

December 13, 1836: Lincoln writes his well-known love letter to Mary Owens at New Salem.

February 24, 1837: Illinois's capital changes from Vandalia to Springfield, due to the promotion by Lincoln and others from Sangamon County.

March 3, 1837: Lincoln makes his first tackle on slavery with Dan Stone.

April 15, 1837: Lincoln moves to Springfield and becomes the law partner of John T. Stuart.

October 8, 1839: Lincoln is named a presidential elector by the state Whig convention in Springfield. He is also chosen in 1844, 1852, and 1856.

December 3, 1839: Lincoln is admitted to practice law in the United States Circuit Court.

June 18, 1840: Lincoln argues his first case in the Illinois Supreme Court.

March 1, 1842: Lincoln pays $2.00 for his certificate in order to be admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Court.

November 4, 1842: Lincoln and Mary Todd are married at the home of Ninian W. Edwards, Todd's brother-in-law. Rev. Charles Dresser, an Episcopal minister, marries them.

August 1, 1843: The Lincolns' first child, Robert Todd, is born at the Globe Tavern where the Lincoln’s live.

January 16, 1844: The Lincolns purchase property now known as "Lincoln’s Home" in the business Section of Springfield. They pay $1,200 and move in on May 1.

March 10, 1846: Edward Baker, the Lincolns' second child, is born.

August 3, 1846: Lincoln, with a majority of 1,511 votes over his Democratic opponent Rev. Peter Cartwright, is the only Whig among seven congressmen elected from Illinois.

November, 1847: The Lincolns and their two sons visit Mrs. Lincoln's family in Lexington, KY for most of this month. From there, they begin their journey to Washington.

June 7-9, 1849: Lincoln is president at Whig convention in Philadelphia, which nominates Gen. Zachary Taylor – Lincoln’s choice – for president.

February 1, 1850: The Lincoln's second son, Edward Baker, dies after a 52-day illness (almost age 4).

July 25, 1850: Lincoln is in Chicago for the U.S. District Court session, but then delivers eulogy on President Zachary Taylor at City Hall.

December 21, 1850: The Lincoln's third son, William Wallace, is born.

January 17, 1851: Lincoln’s father Thomas dies in Coles County, Illinois. April 4, 1853: The Lincolns' fourth son, Thomas (called Tad), is born.

August 27, 1853: In accordance with tradition, Lincoln christens the new town of Lincoln – named after him – with watermelon juice. It was named after him by proprietors Latham, Gillette, and Hickox.

October 16, 1854: Lincoln and Douglas meet in Peoria, Illinois where Lincoln delivers one of his first legendary speeches on the "repeal of the Missouri compromise."

Spring, 1856: At a cost of $1,300, contractors enlarge Lincoln's home from a story and a half to a full two stories.

May 29, 1856: Lincoln delivers his famous "Lost Speech" at the organization of the Republican Party in Bloomington, Illinois.

June 26, 1857: Lincoln delivers his first major speech against the Dred Scott decision in the House of Representatives in Springfield.

June 16, 1858: The Illinois State Republican Convention in Springfield resolves that "Abraham Lincoln is the first and only choice of the Republicans of Illinois for the U.S. Senate." Lincoln accepts this and delivers his "House Divided" speech.

August 21, 1858: Lincoln and Douglas hold their first joint debate at Ottawa.

May 9-10, 1860: The Illinois Republican Convention meets in Decatur to delegate to the National Convention to support Lincoln for President. Being present, it is here that Lincoln receives the nickname "Rail Splitter."

May 18, 1860: Lincoln, in Springfield, is nominated for President on the third ballot by the Republican National Convention.

July, 1860: Robert Lincoln, Lincoln's first son, enrolls in Harvard University. He graduates in 1864 and becomes a captain on the staff of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

October 19, 1860: Lincoln receives a letter from eleven-year-old Grace Bedell of New York suggesting that he grow a beard. He did, in fact, write back.

November 6, 1860: Lincoln becomes the first Republican to be elected President of the United States.

March 4, 1861: Lincoln is inaugurated the sixteenth President of the United States.

June 3, 1861: Lincoln allots thirty days of mourning for Stephen A. Douglas, who dies in Chicago at the age of 48.

February 20, 1862: William Wallace (nicknamed Willie) Lincoln dies. He is the second son the Lincolns have lost. He was 11 years old.

May 15, 1862: Lincoln approves the act to create the Department of Agriculture.

January 1, 1863: Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declares the slaves held in rebellious states free.

February 25, 1863: Lincoln approves the act that establishes the system of national banks.

October 3, 1863: Lincoln announces the first national observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, to be celebrated on November 26.

November 19, 1863: Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg address dedicating the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

November 21, 1863: Lincoln is suffering with a mild case of smallpox.

November 8, 1864: Lincoln is re-elected President, defeating Democratic opponent George B. McClellan.

February 1, 1865: Lincoln approves the submission of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, to the states.

March 3, 1865: Lincoln establishes the Freedman's Bureau for care of Negroes.

April 14, 1865: Lincoln is shot by actor John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre.

April 15, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln dies at 7:22 a.m. in the home of William Peterson.

April 19, 1865: The White House holds funeral services for the assassinated President.

April 21, 1865: The funeral train starts its route from Washington and soon arrives in Baltimore. It takes nine days to arrive in Chicago, with stops along the way.

May 1, 1865: Lincoln's funeral train arrives in Chicago, where the remains are taken to the Court House.

May 3, 1865: The funeral train makes its final stop in Springfield, Illinois at 9:00 a.m. where the body is escorted to statehouse.

May 4, 1865: President Lincoln is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. He leaves a net estate of $110,296.80 to his widow and two sons.

July 15, 1871: Thomas "Tad" Lincoln dies in Chicago of dropsy of the chest. He is buried in the Lincoln tomb in Springfield.

November 7, 1876: Three men try to steal Lincoln's body from his tomb. Scared away, they are later captured in Chicago and sentenced to one year in the penitentiary.

July 16, 1882: Mrs. Lincoln dies in her sister's (Mrs. Ninian Edwards) home in Springfield. This is the same home where she was married to the late President.

June 16, 1887: Robert Todd (Lincoln’s first child) and his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln present the Lincoln Home in Springfield. The first floor is opened to the public.

July 26, 1926: Robert Todd Lincoln dies and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was soon to be 83 years old.

February 12, 1955: The entire Lincoln Home is completely restored, and the second floor is opened to the public.

Lincoln's Journey through Illinois

NEW SALEM – 1831 through 1837
At the age of 22, an uneducated Abraham Lincoln settled in New Salem, a move that would begin the turning point in his life. Here, over the next six years, he would clerk and then co-own a general store; serve as Postmaster; immerse himself in math, grammar, Shakespeare and law; write for newspapers; become captain of his rifle company in the Black Hawk War; accept appointment as Deputy County Surveyor; and be elected to the Illinois General Assembly. In short, he would gain the self-confidence to begin a professional career leading to the presidency.

BEARDSTOWN – 1832 and 1858
A newly anointed military leader, Lincoln would camp and drill his militia troop in Beardstown, in preparation for war with the Black Hawk Indians over Illinois territory. Many years later, Lincoln would try cases in the Cass Circuit Court, where he would successfully defend Duff Armstrong in a legendary murder case that became known as the "Almanac Trial." A legendary photograph of Lincoln – the only one in which he wore a white suit - was taken here by local photographer A.J. Byer immediately after the milestone trial. And Lincoln made sure he had his own speech ready the day after Stephen A. Douglas spoke here in Walnut Grove Park.

SPRINGFIELD –1837 through 1860
Lincoln began his law career in Springfield as the partner of John T. Stuart and began traveling as a lawyer on the 8th Judicial Circuit, covering 400 miles over 14 counties in central and east Illinois. Later, he was admitted to practice in the United States Circuit Court. While in Springfield, he met and married Mary Todd, fathering four sons, which the couple raised in a home that would be the only one he ever owned. While living in Springfield, Lincoln campaigned for Henry Clay and, later, Zachary Taylor, for president. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and temporarily moved to Washington, but eventually returned to Illinois and practiced law, gaining a reputation as an outstanding lawyer. In 1848, Lincoln ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. An ardent supporter of new technology, in 1849 he was granted U.S. patent no. 6469 – the only president ever to hold a patent – for a device to lift boats over shoals. In 1856, he helped organize the new Republican Party and spoke against the Dred Scott decision. He opposed Stephen A. Douglas, and lost, in another run for the U.S. Senate, and gave his famous "House Divided" speech at the Illinois state convention. He engaged Stephen Douglas in a series of 7 debates throughout the state. His voice and political activity accelerated through 1859, and in 1860, he was nominated to be the Republican candidate for President. He won the election and left Springfield with his family, giving a brief but moving farewell to friends and supporters at the train depot.

BLOOMINGTON – 1837 through 1860
As a lawyer on the 8th judicial circuit, Lincoln attended nearly every court session at the McLean County Courthouse from the fall of 1849 to the spring of 1860. It is said that he was transformed from a circuit rider to a statesman of national prominence in 1856 when he made his "Lost Speech" here at Majors Hall. His 90-minute electrifying masterpiece against the expansion of slavery so hypnotized the newsmen and 1100 delegates at the Anti-Nebraska Party convention that few notes were taken. Several of his intimate personal and political friends lived in Bloomington, including Judge David Davis, an influential Republican who was highly instrumental in securing Lincoln’s presidential nomination. Lincoln practiced before Davis while on the circuit and substituted for him on the bench when Davis was absent. Lincoln would appoint him to the Supreme Court when he was president. Lincoln owned two lots here, which he eventually sold. After Lincoln died in 1865, Davis would serve as administrator of Lincoln’s estate. In a law office here, good friend Jesse Fell successfully persuaded Lincoln to write the story of his life, a short autobiography that can be read today. ***include quote: "If Mr. Lincoln is six feet four inches usually, at Bloomington he was seven feet." -Herndon.

CHARLESTON – 1830 through 1861
The east Illinois town of Charleston was a special place for Lincoln, who first passed through with his parents, Thomas and Sarah, and siblings on their journey from Indiana, and would visit more than 100 times over his lifetime to try court cases, give speeches, debate Douglas, and visit relatives. The Lincolns’ first stop was nearby Paradise en route to Decatur, but after a harsh winter there, the Lincolns returned to Charleston for good, building a squatter cabin at Buck Grove and later a log home at Goosenest Prairie. During these years, young Lincoln lived in New Salem on his own. His parents eventually moved a few miles west where they stayed until their deaths. A replica of the original Lincoln log home built in 1844 stands on the site today. Lincoln made many speeches in Charleston between 1840 and 1856, often staying at the Capitol House or the Johnson Tavern. He practiced law at the Coles County Courthouse, which stands today in its original location. One of Lincoln’s most famous and paradoxical trials was held here in 1847 when he represented a slaveholder trying to get his runaway slaves back. Charleston is also the site of Lincoln’s 4th debate with Stephen Douglas. Upon their arrival, the candidates were greeted with a parade of floats and bands before addressing a crowd of some 12,000 about Negro equality and racial intermarriage. On this visit, Lincoln stayed with his good friend Senator Thomas Marshall, whose home still stands. Lincoln visited Charleston for the last time in 1861 to see his stepmother, arriving on a freight caboose after missing his train. Several hundred townspeople came out to see the newly elected President. It is reported that his stepmother Sarah, who reportedly feared for her son’s life, told him on this visit, "Abe, you are too good a man, and they will kill you." Sarah Lincoln died in Charleston in 1869 at the age of 81 and is buried next to her husband in Shiloh Cemetery Charleston.

LINCOLN – 1847 through 1865
The only town named for him during his lifetime (with his full knowledge and approval), Lincoln, Illinois is the third seat of Logan County. Lincoln practiced law at Postville, the first courthouse in the 8th Circuit Court District. A replica of this courthouse stands on the very spot where the original – now located in Greenfield Village, Michigan – once was. In 1853, with his son Robert at his side, Lincoln christened the town by breaking open a watermelon and sprinkling its juice on the ground at the Old Alton Depot. In 1865, Lincoln’s funeral train would stop here on its way to Springfield. That same year, Lincoln College was founded, the only college named for Lincoln in his lifetime. Negro equality and racial intermarriage with Douglas before a crowd of 12,000 people.

ALTON – 1840 through 1958
The west Illinois river town of Alton held much importance in Lincoln’s life – from one of his earliest visits in 1842 to his final debate with Douglas in 1958. In a dramatic showdown, Lincoln came to Alton to fight a duel with the state auditor, James Shields. Someone had written several satirical letters in the Springfield newspaper ridiculing Shields. Abe Lincoln and Mary Todd later claimed authorship and Lincoln apologized. Shields wouldn’t be put off, and challenged Lincoln to a duel. Because duels were illegal, the two engaged in a fight across the Mississippi River on Sunflower Island. Some time during the battle, apologies were renewed and the duel was called off. After the duel, the parties were hosted at the Old ’76 Tavern. Sunflower Island was also home to a Confederate prison, where scores of soldiers, civilians and convicts were housed and later died. The remains of another Confederate prison are also located in Alton. In 1847, Lincoln and his family passed through Alton on the way to Washington in 1847. And in 1859, Lincoln returned to Alton on the way back from a congressional session, making a speech in front of the Presbyterian Church during the state fair. Lincoln and Douglas traveled by steam from Quincy, Illinois to Alton, the site of their last debate. Thousands arrived by boat and railroad, as Alton was the southern point on the railway connection between Chicago and St. Louis. By this time, Douglas was worn out and his voice was failing. Lincoln’s tenor voice was clearer and stronger than ever. He argued that "a house divided against itself can not stand" and that the states "must be all slave or all free." The homes of many of Lincoln’s close friends and political allies stand today, including that of Benjamin Godfrey and others.

CHICAGO – 1847 through 1865
When Chicago was chartered in 1837, it was almost the same size as the village of New Salem, Lincoln’s new home in central Illinois. By 1860, the city had become important enough to host a major party presidential nominating convention. Lincoln came to Chicago often – at least 150 days – for legal business and political gatherings. His first visit was to attend and speak at the Rivers and Harbors Convention, called to oppose President Polk’s veto of a bill for the improvement of rivers and harbors at federal expense. Lincoln’s later visits were for his legal practice in one of the two federal courts in Illinois. During the 1860 Republican convention and then during the presidential campaign, the city became his political base. In Chicago, Lincoln stumped for Zachary Taylor as president, then later wrote and delivered Taylor’s eulogy here. He addressed Chicagoans on the subject of the Nebraska bill at North Market Hall, and at the Tremont House (where he often stayed while in town), countered arguments presented by Douglas on the topic of the expansion of slavery when both were vying for the Senate seat. Douglas himself was born and buried in Chicago. It was at the Wigwam building on the south side of Lake and Market Streets that Lincoln would receive the Republican nomination for president. Soon after he became President, Lincoln met with Vice President-elect Harry Hamlin for four days, and when they departed for Springfield on the Alton & St. Louis train, it ended the last visit of the living Lincoln to Chicago. At 11:00 a.m. on May 1, 1865, Lincoln’s remains arrived at the Union Depot on Van Buren and lay in state at the courthouse while thousands made their way past the bier.

Lincoln Quotes

Quotes said by Lincoln | Quotes said by Others

Quotes said by Lincoln:

"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or the other."
– Abraham Lincoln

"A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me."
– Abraham Lincoln

"I have now come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying, for this reason: I can never be satisfied with anyone would be blockhead enough to have me."
– Abraham Lincoln

"Labor was prior to capital, but property is the fruit of labor; let no man, therefore, who is houseless, pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently to build one for himself, thus assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."
– Abraham Lincoln

"Many free countries have lost their liberty; and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her."
– Abraham Lincoln

"Most governments have been based, practically, on the denial of the equal rights of man... ours began by affirming those rights. They said, "'some men are too ignorant and vicious to share in government.' 'Possibly so,' said we, 'and by your system, you would always keep these ignorant and vicious.' We proposed to give all a chance; and we expected the weak to grow stronger, the ignorant wiser, and all better and happier together. We made the experiment, and the fruit is before us. Look at it, think of it. Look at it in its aggregate grandeur – extent of country and numbers of population, of ships and steamboats, and railroads." (from Lincoln's notes)
– Abraham Lincoln

"Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it by being a slave himself."
– Abraham Lincoln

"I could not raise ten thousand dollars if it would save me from the fate of John Brown." (The year he became President)
– Abraham Lincoln

"Let reverence for the laws become the political religion of the nation."
– Abraham Lincoln

"What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our groaning battlements, our bristling sea-coasts, the guns for our war steamers or the strength of our gallant army... Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defiance is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors."
– Abraham Lincoln

"I flatter myself in that thus far my wife has not found it necessary to follow me around from place to place to keep me from getting drunk."
– Abraham Lincoln

"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."
– Abraham Lincoln

"As labor is the common burden of our race, so the effort of some to shift the burden onto the shoulders of others is the great durable curse of the race."
– Abraham Lincoln

While working in Offut's General Store, Abe Lincoln had to sell liquor as well as other things. Douglas once attempted to use this against Lincoln in a campaign speech. Lincoln did not deny it or try to explain. He merely said "While I was in the back of the bar, Douglas was in front of it."
– Abraham Lincoln

"Is it the will of God that Sambo shall remain a slave, or be set free? The Almighty gives no audible answer... So Dr. Ross must decide the question. And while he considers it, he sits in the shade with gloves on his hands, and subsists on the brad that Sambo is earning in the burning sun. If he decides that god wills Sambo to be freed, he thereby has to walk out of the shade, throw off his gloves, and delve for his bread. Will Dr. Ross be accentuated by perfect impartiality?" (speaking to the clergy of Petersburg, Lincoln put this hypothetical question about Dr. Ross who owns a slave named Sambo.)
– Abraham Lincoln

"By way of getting the hang of the House, I made a little speech two or three days ago on a post office question of no general interest. I find speaking here and elsewhere about the same thing. I was about as badly scared, and no worse, as I am when I speak in court." (In a letter to Herndon)
– Abraham Lincoln

"Deceit and falsehood, especially if you have got bad memory, is the worst enemy a fellow can have." (advice to George E. Pickett as he was leaving to become a cadet at West Point, and who in later years led the famous charge for Lee at Gettysburg)
– Abraham Lincoln

"Fondly do we hope – fervently do we pray – that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsmen’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword; as it was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as god gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
– Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln in his 600-word second inaugural address: "And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down As when a lordly cedar, green with boughs, Goes down with a great shout upon the hills, And leaves a lonesome place against the sky.
– Abraham Lincoln

– From Edwin Markham's Poem, Lincoln, the Man of the People read at the dedication for the Lincoln Memorial.
"An ant's life was to it as sweet as ours to us."
– Lincoln scolding his children for hurting defenseless animals

"Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored... It thirsts and burns for distinction; and, if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves, or enslaving freemen."
– Abraham Lincoln during a speech

"Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others... Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by ever American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap – let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; – let it be written in Primmers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; – let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. IN short, let it become the political religion of the nation."
– Abraham Lincoln's "simple solution" to the problems in Mississippi

"Let no young man, choosing the law for a calling, for a moment yield to this popular belief. Resolve to be honest at all events; and if, in your own judgment, you can not be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation."
– Abraham Lincoln

Quotes said by Others:

"I am sure this land was settled before the Lord was willing."
– Comment of an early Illinois pioneer woman

"If you make a bad bargain, hut it all tighter! Every man must skin his own skunk."
– Thomas Lincoln

"I s'pose Abe is still fooling hisself with eddication. I tried to stop it, but he has got that fool idea in his head, and it can't be got out. Now I ain't got no eddication, but I get along far better'n if I had."
– Thomas Lincoln to a visitor who afterwards said he found Lincoln's father to be "one of the shrewdest ignorant men" he had ever met.

"Abe never spoke a cross word to me in his life since we lived together."
– Sarah Bush Lincoln

"He seemed to be born politician. We followed his lead; but he followed nobody's lead. It may almost be said that he did our thinking for us. He inspired respect, although he was careless and negligent. We would ride while he would walk; but we recognized him as a master of logic. He was poverty itself; but independent. He seemed to glide along in life without any friction or effort."
– Colleague Robert L. Wilson

Toast to Lincoln:
"He fulfilled the expectations of his friends, and disappointed the hopes of his enemies."

Lincoln's response:
"All our friends: they are too numerous to mention now individually, while there is no one of them who is not too dear to be forgotten or neglected."

"He was tall, gawky, rough-looking; his pantaloons didn't meet his shoes by six inches. But I became very much interested in him; he made a very sensible speech. He had novelty and peculiarity in presenting his ideas; he had individuality."
– Stephen T. Logan's comment on hearing Lincoln speak for the first time

"Sometimes it appeared as if Lincoln's soul was fresh from its Creator."
– Herndon

"Lincoln, you are impoverishing this bar by your picayune charges of fees and the lawyers have reason to complain of you."
– Judge David Davis, a millionaire landowner in whose court Lincoln practiced for twelve years, once giving Lincoln a rebuke for charging such low fees.

"If Mr. Lincoln is six feet four inches usually, at Bloomington he was seven feet."
– Herndon

"His awkwardness is all in his looks; in his movements he is quick, sure and graceful; even when he crosses his spiderlike legs or throws them over the arm of his chair, he does it with a natural grace."
– Dan Voorhees of Indiana

"Abe was the best boy I ever saw or ever expected to see."
– Sarah Bush Lincoln

"He worked indefatigably for a better world – for himself, for his family, for his nation."
– Calvinists

Watch Video

Harry Onstot Copper Shop

Springfield Depot

Springfield home

Illinois State Capital

Mid 1880's maps of Illinois




Abraham Lincoln's Illinois MainWatch VideoLincoln's LifeAboutContact UsSite MapPressroomWTTW Digital ArchivesProduction ServicesCorporate SponsorshipHomeSchedulesProgramsWTTW KidsWTTW ArtsWTTW EventsSupport WTTWAbout UsMembers OnlyGeoffrey Baer Tours - Seven Wonders of ChicagoArchitect Robert A.M. Stern: Presence of the PastArchitect Michael Graves: A Grand TourArchitect Thomas Beeby10 Buildings that Changed AmericaCatholicismProhibitionAmerican Graduate