"Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site" Springfield Travelogue by Paulie_D

Springfield Travel Guide: 164 reviews and 443 photos


Construction of the monument, which holds the remains of the Sixteenth President, his wife, and three of their sons, began in 1869. It was dedicated five years later. The Monument Association deeded the tomb and surrounding grounds at Oak Ridge Cemetery to the State of Illinois in 1895.

The central bronze figure depicts Lincoln as President. One hand grasps a scroll symbolizing the Emancipation Proclamation.

Four bronze military groups anchor the tomb design on the exterior. All are the work of Larkin Mead, who sketched Civil War battle scenes for Harper's Weekly in 1861.

These represent the branches of the military involved in the Civil War..the Cavalry, Infantry, Navy & Artillery.

Some information obtained from 'Abraham Lincoln Online'. Their copyright.

Lincoln Bust

Near the entrance to the Lincoln Tomb you encounter this bronze bust.

A replica of the marble original in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. it has, unfortunately, proved irresistible to visitors, who reach up to rub it for good luck.

Best known for his massive face of Lincoln at Mount Rushmore, Borglum used a Lincoln life mask and photographs to create this bust.

Seated Lincoln by Daniel Chester French

The first room you see when you step inside the tomb is the rotunda, with a small bronze Lincoln figure in the center.

A replica of French's famous marble sculpture in the Lincoln Memorial at Washington, D.C. which depicts Lincoln as the Civil War President, sitting in a massive chair of state.

His hands rest on flat-faced pillars which symbolize the power of the American Union.


Once you pass from the rotunda into the tomb's hallways, you see excerpts from Lincoln's speeches and small bronze statues such as this one entitled "Standing Lincoln" by Daniel Chester French.

French is remembered best for his statue in the Lincoln Memorial, but he also created the original of this work. It stands outside the statehouse in Lincoln, Nebraska, and depicts a contemplative Lincoln about to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

In Nebraska, the speech is carved into a marble slab behind the statue.

French, who was probably the leading American sculptor of his day, shows Lincoln standing with his hands clasped, as though he was still composing his thoughts.

The Tomb Chamber

In the sarcophagus chamber, veterans hold ceremonies on Lincoln's birthday, placing memorial wreaths by the red marble grave marker. On the back wall, you can read Secretary Stanton's tribute, "Now he belongs to the ages."

Lincoln's body rests in a reinforced concrete vault beneath the floor, a precaution taken by his son Robert after an attempt was made on the body. Lincoln's wife and three sons are buried in the opposite wall, while Robert lies in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Page Updated Nov 16, 2003
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