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Author Topic: Lincoln Presidential Library  (Read 963 times)
Dan
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« on: October 12, 2010, 05:10:17 PM »

Has anybody been to the Lincoln Library? Just wanted to know your thoughts.. What you liked, what you didn't.
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2010, 03:38:59 AM »

Dan, my ex-student, Tom Schwartz, is there, and I am extremely loyal to successful former students, so I am very prejudiced.  My wife and I were there in 2005, and things may have changed since that time.  My favorite part was the Union Theater and the seats shaking from artillery fire.  Vicki's favorite part was "What Are They Wearing In Washington" and seeing the platform with Mary Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckly.  "The Death of Willie" really moved us, too. There is a nice article here:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/10/03/getting-know-lincoln-better.html

I'll bet Joe Di Cola (many of you will remember him from the old ALO message board) can give a more current and much better reply than me.  Joe is just coming off a total knee replacement and his pain is diminishing with each passing day.  If you read this, Joe, what do you think of the museum?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 04:32:43 AM by Roger Norton » Logged
Dan
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2010, 04:44:18 AM »

Thank you for your feedback Roger. The Presidential Library, and Surratt Escape Route Tour are two on my "must do" list. (I just have to convince the family they would enjoy them as much as I would.)
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Roger Norton
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2010, 05:01:25 AM »

Thanks, Dan.  I might add that one of the things I do not like about James Swanson's new book is his harsh criticism of the museum's Hall of Representatives exhibit with (a missing) President Lincoln in a closed coffin.  I think the museum is well within its rights to have the display as it is, and it did not deserve the treatment Mr. Swanson gave it in Bloody Crimes.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 07:08:25 AM by Roger Norton » Logged
rich smyth
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2010, 08:00:31 AM »

James Cornelius, Director of the Lincoln archives at the library was kind enough to show my wife and I the letters Booth wrote to young Isabell Summer, a girl he met in Boston. Also the pearl ring he presented to her inscribed JWB to IS. While holding the ring in my hand I could almost imagine Booth shopping in New York or Boston for the ring and choosing that one.  There is plenty to see and do in downtown Springfield as well, including many Lincoln related sites. We stayed in a local hotel  and was within walking distance of the library/museum, Lincoln's home and a short walk to the cemetery where he and many of his friends and associates are buried. It is a great long weekend trip.
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Rob Wick
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2010, 05:10:56 PM »

Being from Illinois, I always joke that it's state law that school children have to visit the Lincoln sites (anyone remember when they were called Lincoln shrines?) several times throughout their school lives. I can't count how many times I've been to Springfield, but it seems I always come back with something new.

I enjoyed the Lincoln museum with the exception of the election of 1860 part. Tim Russert doing it like a newscast was far too cheesy for me. Every other aspect of it, however, was wonderful. The funeral exhibit was powerful and moving. I even liked the food (although I felt that the General McClellan chicken salad sandwich was a bit of editorializing Grin)

Additionally, there are several other sites outside of Lincoln which deserve mention. The Dana-Thomas house is a shining example of early Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Also, the Vachel Lindsey house tells the sad story of the poet who wrote "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight" but couldn't extricate himself from ill health or bad debts and died by drinking a bottle of Lysol. Prairie Archives is my favorite used book store and is located on the Old State Capitol Plaza. Just two doors down is the Feed Store, which sells the best soup and sandwiches known to man.

Springfield is a wonderful place to visit and anyone who goes there should also make time to visit two other sites within driving distance--New Salem (20 miles northwest of Springfield) is a recreation of the village where Lincoln lived and, possibly, loved (if the Ann Rutledge story is to be believed); and The Lincoln Log Cabin historic site near Charleston, where Lincoln's father and step-mother are buried.

Best
Rob
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Dan
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2010, 09:10:23 PM »

Excellent insight Rob, Thank you. I'm looking forward to the day I can make it out to Illinois and see all of those sights. I must admit, I'm a bit jealous of you folks that live in Illinois and Maryland. Having the ability to take a weekend day, and see some of sights and locations I have always  enjoyed reading about must be nice. We do have our history here in Massachusetts, as lifelong resident maybe I take it a liitle for granted.

Thanks again.

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Dave Taylor
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2010, 09:46:48 PM »

We all take it for granted, Dan. 

While I have been to Springfield a few times, I still have not made it to the Lincoln Library yet.   And while I agree with Rob that places like New Salem and Lincoln's tomb are really cool, I was still much more excited to go out to Maryland and see the sites there compared to the ones in my own backyard.  As they say, the grass is always greener.

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