With Friday's limited-release opening of Hollywood's latest take on the sixteenth president of the United States' life, some Illinois landmarks are getting ready to play host to a new crop of visitors interested in learning more about Abraham Lincoln's formative, pre-Washington years.
The Travel Trade Gazette reports that in Springfield, where Lincoln lived from 1837 to 1861 and is buried, tourism officials are expecting a considerable increase in tourist interest.
Jeff Berg of the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau described Springfield as pivotal to the president's development into the widely-celebrated figure we know today.
"Springfield is the only place where Lincoln ever owned a home. It’s where he was educated and where he became a man," Berg told the Gazette.
Among the local Lincoln-centric attractions in Illinois' capitol is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which contributed considerable research to the Steven Spielberg-directed film.
James Cornelius, curator of the museum's Lincoln Collection, told WJBC that he spent about a half-day with the film's lead, Daniel Day-Lewis, in Springfield as they discussed various details of Lincoln's dress, mannerisms and style of speech. He also spent time reading old letters Lincoln had written.
Day-Lewis also spent time at the Old State Capitol and Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices during a discreet one-day trip to Springfield in November 2010, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The film also has a Chicago connection. Though no filming of the feature was done in Springfield, part of the feature was filmed in the Windy City.
The Chicago History Museum also played a role in the film's development. Spielberg came to the museum some years ago to tour a Lincoln-centric exhibition, according to the Tribune. Joanna Johnston, the film's costume designer, also stopped by the museum to view historical photos and inspect period clothing of both Abraham and wife Mary Todd Lincoln, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Learn more about Lincoln via these images, courtesy of the Chicago History Museum. Obtain a reproduction or access other information additional information about the images:
Abraham Lincoln in Chicago, February 28, 1857.
Portraits of Lincoln at different points of his life.
The Railsplitter, 1860
A larger-than-life-size portrait of Abraham Lincoln depicts him as a self-reliant, hard-working young man of the western frontier on his way to the top.
A self-taught man
A page from an arithmetic book that Lincoln compiled as a youth by copying problems from published sources. Later in life, Lincoln expressed regret for "his want of education" and did what he could "to supply the want," which included studying Euclidean geometry to strengthen his mind.
An extra edition of the Charleston Mercury announced the stunning news of South Carolina's secession from the Union. Rebel leaders mailed a copy of the broadside to president-elect Lincoln, who was in Springfield waiting for the March inauguration. As illustrated by a printed copy of South Carolina's Declaration of Independence, secessionists linked their cause to the American Revolution. December 20, 1860
'The Knight of the Rueful Countenance,' 1862
Tyrant? One of the most controversial acts of Lincoln's presidency occurred two weeks after the war began when he suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland, effectively imposing martial law in that state.
President Lincoln reading to his son Thomas Tadd Lincoln.
Lincoln waiting at a telegraph for news about the civil war.
'The Miscegenation Ball,' 1864
During the election of 1864, Democrats preyed upon the fears of many white Americans with political cartoons about miscegenation, or racial interbreeding. This cartoon imagines black women dancing with white Republican office holders and presidential electors beneath a banner proclaiming "Universal Freedom" under President Lincoln.
Lincoln campaign poster from 1864 election.
McClellan campaign poster. Lincoln's democratic opponent in the 1864 election.
"The Chicago Platform," 1864
At the 1864 Democratic national convention in Chicago, Peace Democrats (also known as Copperheads) dominated the proceedings and called for a negotiated settlement with the Confederacy. Although McClellan disagreed with the party's platform, he still accepted its nomination. Note how the campaign broadside attacks Lincoln on many points, including the suspension of civil liberties.
A humorous yet respectful image of Lincoln appeared after his re-election to the presidency in November 1864. In the minds of many Northerners, Lincoln had grown into a mature and capable leader worthy of their vote and esteem.
Reward poster for the capture of John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln's funeral train
On Friday, April 21, Lincoln's remains were put on board a special funeral train for the long journey home to Springfield. The train made several stops along the way, including Harrisburg, where officials staged an elaborate memorial service at the state capitol building.
Lincoln's Chicago funeral
In Chicago, a grand procession accompanied Lincoln's hearse from the funeral train through a magnificent gothic arch to the Cook County Court House. Note the hearse near the building's stairway. Nearly 125,000 people paid their last respects to the president while he lay in state for twenty-four hours.
Military court for Lincoln assassination conspiracy, 1865
On May 1, 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed a nine-man military commission to try the Lincoln assassination conspirators. They met from May 10 to June 30 and found all defendants guilty of conspiring with the Confederate government to murder Lincoln, even though there was little evidence to prove the connection.
Lincoln's 100th birthday
Exterior view of the Carson Pirie Scott & Co. department store building draped with United States flags and stars and stripes bunting, This image was probably taken in Chicago, Illinois, in 1909 for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.
Lincoln's 100th birthday
Exterior view of Marshall Field & Co. department store entrance draped with United States flags and stars and stripes bunting, This image was probably taken in Chicago, Illinois, in 1909 for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.
Abraham Lincoln: Life and Death
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