Michael Burlingame

Amanda Vinicky

It was weeks after Abraham Lincoln's death in mid-April, that has body made it from Washington, D.C. back to Springfield, Illinois. The lifting of a replica coffin from a car designed to look like Lincoln's funeral train began a series events this weekend in Springfield, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the president's death and burial.

UIS

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865, it began a period of mourning that was emphasized in many communities as his funeral train made its way from Washington D.C. to Springfield.

The 17-hundred mile journey had an impact on the nation and certainly those who witnessed it.  But through various eyes, the passing of Abraham Lincoln was seen differently.  

UIS

The story of the Gettysburg Address began long before that day Abraham Lincoln stood at the speaker's platform and delivered those famous 272 words. 

July skies are fiery over a Union artillery position on the northern end of  Cemetery Ridge, the center of the Union line, where it joins Cemetery Hill north of the copse of trees. This position is overlooking the broad valley down to Seminary Ridge.
Robert Shaw / WUIS/Illinois Issues

One of the more misleading myths about the Gettysburg Address is that it was not properly appreciated by the audience who heard it or the readers who soon afterward saw it in newspapers. In fact, many of the 15,000 assembled at Gettysburg were profoundly moved. Edward Everett, who delivered the main oration just before Lincoln delivered his “few appropriate remarks,” noted that the president’s handiwork was “greatly admired.” And so it was.

Essay: 150 Years Later

Feb 1, 2011
A gun at the arsenal in Washington, D.C.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

If today Abraham Lincoln could see what has become of his country — and of the world — since the Civil War, which began 150 years ago, how might he react? That conflict began as a struggle over states’ rights in general and the right to secede in particular. He would doubtless be pleased that the doctrine of secession is dead in the United States. To be sure, a few outliers have forlornly suggested that it be revived, but they have gained no traction politically.