Monday, February 12, 2007

The Tomb

Lincoln's Tomb Springfield, Illinois dedicated Oct. 15, 1874

On Feb. 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was born in present-day Larue County, Ky. He was assassinated and died on April 15, 1865 and is buried in Springfield, Illinois.

Two years after the dedication, Lincoln's body escaped a failed attempt by a counterfeiting ring to steal his body and hold it for a ransom of $200,000 and the freedom of the gang's imprisoned master engraver. In all, Lincoln's coffin has been moved 17 times, mainly due to reconstruction, and has been opened five times. The last time for both was September 26, 1901, when officials verified that the remains were Lincoln's and then set his coffin in a concrete crypt beneath the monument's floor surrounded by reinforced steel, in part to prevent further attempts at desecration. Despite additional reconstructions, Lincoln's remains have rested in peace since 1901. Thousands continue to journey to the tomb each year to pay their respects to one of the country's most revered leaders. It seems that the National Lincoln Monument Association completed its task of erecting a tribute that conveys the country's estimate placed upon his life, virtues, and public services.

Lincoln's sarcophagus in the monument's burial chamber lies 10 feet below this marker in a steel reinforced concrete crypt. His wife and three of his four children are buried in the walls of the burial chamber.

A bust of Lincoln outside the tomb, and one of the many statues within...As you can see from these photographs, the shiny portions, the nose and foot, are created by people touching Lincoln as they pass around and though the tomb. All statues that can be reached exhibit these shiny patches.

A stone from the wall of Servius Tullius, presented to Lincoln by the citizens of Rome in 1865 and now part of the Lincoln Tomb.