Meet our writers

 







Travel Logs February 2018

Compulsive Traveler

On The Lincoln Trail

By Sandra Scott

The site is a reconstruction of the village where Lincoln spent his early adulthood years. It was here that he clerked in a store, split rails, enlisted in the Black Hawk War, served as postmaster, and failed at several businesses before being elected to the Illinois General Assembly.

Abraham Lincoln may not be remembered for his travels but there are many places people can visit to learn more about Lincoln, the man and his times. Lincoln not only saved the Union, preserving both its government and boundaries, he reinvigorated the nation's founding principle –  that all men are created equal.

  1.  Knob Creek, Kentucky: Lincoln was born on Sunday, February 12, 1809, in a log cabin on his father’s Sinking Spring Farm. When he was about two they moved 10 miles away to Knob Creek Farm where he lived for five years – where he learned to talk, walk and run errands for the family. The National Park site has an informative visitor center with a video about Lincoln’s time in Kentucky along with exhibits that include the family bible from which his mother would read to him.
  2. Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial: Located near Gentryville, Indiana, the boyhood home of Lincoln is where he grew up and developed into the person referred to as “Honest Abe.” The national park is located on four of the original 160 acres owned by Thomas Lincoln. Besides the visitor center, there is a living history pioneer farm with a log cabin and several hiking trails.
  3. White House: After a brief stay at the nearby historic Willard Hotel the Lincoln family, sans Robert who was attending Harvard, moved into their second floor living quarters at the White House. Tours are free but it is best to request one from your congressperson at least 21 days in advance and are on a first come, first serve basis Tuesday through Saturday.
  4. Lincoln Memorial: One of the most iconic images of Lincoln is that of the Lincoln Memorial located in Washington’s National Mall overlooking the reflection pool. The 19-foot-tall stature of Lincoln sits inside a Greek-style temple with 36 columns – one for each of the states of the United States at the time of Lincoln’s death.
  5. Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park: In his autobiography, Lincoln related that when he was 21 he and his family moved to just west of Decatur, Illinois, by wagons drawn by ox teams, one of which he drove. They built a log cabin and enough rails to fence in ten acres earning him the sobriquet “rail splitter.” There is no longer a log cabin on the site but there are markers commemorating the site.
  6. New Salem State Historic Site: Located near Springfield, Illinois, the site is a reconstruction of the village where Lincoln spent his early adulthood years. It was here that he clerked in a store, split rails, enlisted in the Black Hawk War, served as postmaster, and failed at several businesses before being elected to the Illinois General Assembly. Visit the blacksmiths and attend a performance theater in the park.
  7. Gettysburg: On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln gave one of America’s most famous speeches which was only a little longer than two minutes. It is said that some in the crowd didn’t realized the president was speaking until he was finished. At the end of three days of fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg there were over 50,000 causalities with about 7000 dead. A few months later Lincoln’s speech dedicated the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.
  8. Ford’s Theater: The theater where John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln looks much as it did on the night of April 14, 1865, and even the President’s Box looks the same. There is a museum where visitors can learn more about Lincoln’s presidency and about Booth. The Peterson House across the street is where Lincoln took his final breath. It will be closed until June 2018 for preservation work.
  9. Lincoln Memorial University: Located in Harrogate, Tennessee, the University is home to the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. It houses one of the most diverse Lincoln and Civil War collections in the country. There are two Lincoln life masks, the tea set the Lincolns used in their Springfield home and a collection of more than 30,000 books, manuscripts, pamphlets and other materials dealing with Lincoln and the Civil War period.
  10. The Henry Ford Museum: The Dearborn, Michigan, museum houses some of the most iconic items from American history including the Lincoln rocker which is seen as a symbol of Lincoln’s sacrifice in shaping a more perfect union. They also have a variety of Lincoln’s portraits, political cartoons, and prints that give insight to the times.

 

Sandra Scott travels the globe recording the top attractions at every destination.

Meet Sandra