Times Past, Pausing to Remember

At Home in Springfield

Abraham Lincoln arrived in Springfield, Illinois on April 15, 1839. He was 28 years old. He was a young lawyer, starting a career in law and politics, single, unknown to most, with no money and few possessions. He left Springfield February 11, 1861, President of the United States. His body would be returned to Springfield only a little more than four years later. He was then a national hero and probably the most respected man in the Country.

Lincoln met Mary Ann Todd in Springfield in 1839, and they married in 1842. Abraham gave Mary a gold wedding ring with the words "Love is Eternal" engraved inside the band. Mary wore this ring until the day she died. For all the words written in criticism of Mary, she and Abraham were devoted to each other. The Lincolns moved into the Globe Tavern, a two story wooden structure in Springfield, where they boarded for $4.00 a week.

The Lincolns rented a small house for a few months, finally buying a house in 1844. It was the only home Lincoln ever owned. In spite of the death of a son in 1850, these were probably the happiest years Lincoln was to know.

The Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois

The informal sitting room where Lincoln spent most of his time

Lincoln's bedroom

Lincoln's departure from Springfield on February 11, 1861 to journey to Washington and begin his difficult Presidency was a sad moment for him. In spite of the great honor of being elected to the Country's highest office, and in spite of the tremendous responsibility he knew was ahead - preserving/restoring the Union - he took the time to say goodbye to friends, neighbors, and well-wishers. His words to them were from the heart.
My Friends:

No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting.

To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything.

Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man.

Here my children have been born, and one is buried.

I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington.

Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed.

With that assistance, I cannot fail.

Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well.

To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

Abraham Lincoln