Illinois is known as “The Land of Lincoln”, even though he was born in Kentucky. Lincoln cut his political teeth in Springfield, first as a lawyer and then governor and then later a Senator for the state of Illinois. In 1955, “The Land of Lincoln” became the official state motto.
There was one historical artifact that drew me to a corner of Lincoln Park to visit the Chicago History Museum.
On a past visit to Washington D. C., two highlights of my visit was Ford’s Theatre and the Lincoln memorial.
Ford’s Theatre was where Lincoln was assassinated on the night of April 14, 1865 by the actor John Wilkes Booth during a performance of Our American Cousin.
Lincoln was moved across the street to the Peterson Boarding House where the president was placed on a bed on the ground floor, towards the back of the house. Lincoln was too tall (he was 6 ft 4 in) for the small bed that he was laid at an angle, with his feet hanging off the end. He remained in a coma, never regaining consciousness.
Over 90 people came to pay their last respects to the President who had led the country through the Civil War. He died at 7:22 AM on April 15, 1865. Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War, saluted Lincoln and said, “He now belongs to the ages.”
I had heard from a docent at the Peterson House, which is now a museum, that the bed on display was a replica and the real bed was in a museum in Chicago.
There is only one historical figure that has more books written about them than Abraham Lincoln and that is the son of god himself: Jesus Christ Superstar.
Now that is saying a lot about Lincoln’s impact to our country and his influence around the world.
But I was here to see and sketch a historic bed.
In the same display was a life mask of Lincoln that captured the presidents features shortly before his death. I added this to my sketchbook.