River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lincoln Palooza - Springfield, Illinois - Thurs., Oct. 23, 2014

If you thought yesterday was busy, wait until you see what we did today! Bob was still feeling a little under the weather but he wanted to see the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and the inside of the state Capitol. We decided to do those two things first, then see how he felt. If he felt okay, he would finish the Volksmarch with me; if not, he would drop me off where we left off on the walk yesterday and then go back to the 5th wheel to rest.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is awesome. It takes you from Abraham's boyhood log cabin, into the debate about slavery, through his years as a lawyer and father, the Emancipation Proclamation years, his Presidency, and his final moments. The layout, flow and content of the museum is outstanding.

Bob reading about Lincoln's childhood in front of a log cabin replica.
The horrible realities of slavery -
selling human beings and breaking families apart.
Abraham and Mary at home in their sitting room.
Abraham would take his boys Willie and Tad to his law office. They were known to be a bit wild and their dad would turn a blind eye to their shenanigans.

Lincoln reading while the kids wreak havoc.

Once Abraham Lincoln was elected President, it was time to move to the White House in Washington, D.C. Society mavens were not kind to Mary Todd Lincoln. They ridiculed her even though she was from a prominent family in the South.

Fierce political jokes made fun of the new President. The walls were lined with political cartoons showing Lincoln as the Devil, a black in disguise, and many more derogatory lampoons. The following "joke" shows many Lilliputian office seekers looking for political assignments. Lincoln, as Gulliver is overwhelmed.

Political cartoon
When Lincoln was inaugurated, he promised he would not fire the first shot in a war, the South would have to fire the first shot. And they did. So the Civil War began at Ft. Sumter, South Carolina.
Ft. Sumter, where the Civil War began.
Work began in earnest on the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln worked on it mostly by himself, then sprang it on his Cabinet. Much discussion ensued.

Discussion of the Emancipation Proclamation

To Lincoln it was not a matter of "if" the Emancipation Proclamation would become law, but "when" and "how." He was convinced by his cabinet to wait to issue the proclamation after the Union had a victory.

There is so much in this museum. I will put in a couple more photos, but you really need to experience it for yourself.

The War Gallery
Photos of Lincoln aging while in office.
Lincoln re-elected President
John Wilkes Booth sneaking into the box seats
to assassinate President Lincoln
At the end of the exhibits, I found a very concise quote from Lincoln about lawsuits. If only people would be reasonable and work out their differences rather than suing someone.

We spent 2-1/2 hours in the museum and it was worth every bit of the $15 per person admission fee.

Then we were off to tour the Illinois state capital. The current Illinois Capitol is the sixth state capital building. Started in 1868, it took more than 20 years to complete at a cost of 4.5 million. This limestone Italian Renaissance Revival building was designed in the shape of a Latin cross and is capped by a 361-foot-high dome. The building is 74' taller than the U.S. Capitol. We took a 1/2 hour tour.

The Rotunda dome
Luxurious marble staircases
"Illinois Welcomes the World"

House Gallery
The Rotunda
A massive 40' x 20' painting is being restored in the Grand Staircase.


Ceiling in House
Rotunda railing
Grand Staircase
Notice the two statues that grace the Grand Staircase. When the Capitol was built, the two statues you see here were supposed to be installed in the Grand Staircase. However, the Illinois Statehouse Commissioners in 1874 decided the statues were too scantily clad and refused to install them.

Iowa Governor Cyrus Clay and his Statehouse Commissioners took the statues and placed them in the Des Moines Capitol. 150 years later Illinois contacted Iowa and asked for the statues back. Iowa said, "No." Illinois had the statues copied and now have reproductions of the original statues.
Grand Staircase
Governor's office
Supreme Court
South hall of the second floor
Ceiling in Supreme Court room
In their restoration effort, layers of paint are being removed to find the original art underneath which is then restored.

Old artwork uncovered under layers of paint
The inside of the dome is very impressive. There are columns, painted ceiling, and a plaster bas-relief frieze painted to look like bronze.

With that, our tour concluded. Outside, I took photos of the top of the dome.

While most Capitol domes we have seen have a figure on top of the dome, the Illinois Capitol has flags. In order to put up and take down the flags, there is a ladder on top of the Illinois dome.
Ladder atop the Illinois Capitol dome
Bob was exhausted and decided not to finish the Volksmarch with me. He dropped me off on the street where we had stopped yesterday. I spent the next hour finishing the walk.

Capitol dome
Squirrels are everywhere!
Lincoln's home

In the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church above stands the original pew of the Abraham Lincoln Family.

Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices
The Old State Capitol (1839-1876)
Other facts learned from today's Volksmarch:
  •  Lincoln Square in Springfield, Illinois marks the departure point of the Donner party on April 15, 1846 on their ill-fated trip to California.
  • Potawatomi Trail of Death: On September 28, 1838, 800 Potawatomi Indians marched through Springfield on the forced removal from Indiana to Kansas.
Bob was waiting for me when I finished walking. We had dinner at Sgt. Pepper's Cafe. The food was okay. What I really liked was the decor and the music they played.

With that, we called it a day. Travel Bug out.


  1. Wow! I loved your history lesson about Lincoln - being an aussie I only knew it was an assassination - I was amazed at the $'S's spent on the buildings - so grand - enormous buildings - wonder how they paid for them? Thanks for the great photographic walk ....Cheers lesalp.blogspot.com.au

    1. Hi Leslie,
      Glad you enjoyed learning more about U.S. history. When we went to Australia two years ago we found Aussies to be very knowledgeable about all things U.S. In fact, we loved reading your newspapers to get a different, and sometimes funny, interpretation of the U.S. presidential election.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you. More history from Jefferson City, Missouri. Stay tuned.


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