Although they inhabited different political, social, and cultural arenas, Abraham Lincoln and the pioneer generation of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, shared the same nineteenth-century world. Bryon C. Andreasen’s Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: Lincoln and Mormon Country relates more than thirty fascinating and surprising stories that show how the lives of Lincoln and the Mormons intersected.
This richly illustrated and carefully researched book expands on some of the storyboards found on the Looking for Lincoln Story Trail, from the Mormon capital of Nauvoo to the state capital of Springfield. Created by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, this trail consists of wayside exhibits posted in sites of significance to Lincoln’s life and career across fifty-two communities in Illinois. The book’s keyed maps, historic photos, and descriptions of battles, Mormon expeditions, and events at inns, federal buildings, and even Lincoln’s first Illinois log cabin connect the stories to their physical locations.
Exploring the intriguing question of whether Lincoln and Mormon founder Joseph Smith ever met, the book reveals that they traveled the same routes and likely stayed at the same inns. The book also includes colorful and engaging looks at key figures such as Brigham Young, various Mormon apostles, and more. Anyone inspired by Lincoln, as well as Mormon and Illinois history enthusiasts, will appreciate this look back at a long-past, but not forgotten, landscape.
Winner, ISHS Certificate of Excellence Award, 2016
Presenting fifty Abraham Lincoln stories—some familiar and beloved, some fresh and unexpected—Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: Lincoln’s Springfield is a carefully researched, richly illustrated guide to the Springfield, Illinois, locations on the Looking for Lincoln Story Trail. Created by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, this trail consists of more than two hundred illustrated storyboards posted at sites of significance to Lincoln’s life and career across fifty-two communities in Illinois. The storyboards connect Lincoln-related tales to the geographical locations where they occurred, giving visitors, and now readers, a tour of the social and cultural landscape of Lincoln’s nineteenth-century world while revealing the very human Lincoln known by friends and associates.
This book celebrates the trail as a rich historical resource, featuring the original storyboards produced for Springfield and including twelve additional stories and more than 150 illustrations. Engaging stories in the book bring Lincoln’s Springfield to life: Lincoln created controversy with his Temperance Address, which he delivered in a church on Fourth Street in February 1842. He unexpectedly married Mary Todd in her sister’s home on the edge of Springfield later that year. The Lincolns’ sons used to harness dogs and cats to small wagons and drive them around the dirt streets of town. When Lincoln visited his dentist, he applied his own chloroform, because the practice of analgesia was not yet common. He reportedly played the ball game Fives in a downtown alley while waiting for news of his presidential nomination. And boxing heavyweight champion John C. Heenan visited the presidential candidate in October 1860. Through texts, historic photographs and images, and maps, including one keyed to the story locations in downtown Springfield, readers of this fascinating volume are invited to imagine social and cultural landscapes that have been lost in time.