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tv   President Lincoln Funeral Reenactment  CSPAN  May 28, 2015 11:51pm-3:11am EDT

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through, here he is airies riding through the prairies, the sun rose as the train got to atlanta. this little girl was there.l i just would take the liberty of reading this letter because it speaks for all the million -- literally millions t -- certainly his hundreds of thousands that saw ain. this train. as she said, as the train came to nta, atlanta, illinois, the church s bells tolled, the muffled drums played, and everything seemed to say, come and mourn with me. even the angels in heaven must surely shed tears of grief when they look down and see the a terrible agony of this nation. when the train came up, then oh, then how our heart did ache, and lincoln's likeness on the front of the train as if he were there. words fail me when i undertake to describe the mournful scene and the anguish of our heart.sands i think that little girl spoke
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for hundreds of thousands of americans. there's a certainry poetry if you want to call it that and closuren to lincoln coming down these cks tracks toto this place in his coffin because, as he came he cir went through the circuit that he had ridden -- for 23 years he'd ridden through the prairiesut b cut by these tracks. and he visits all these towns.isited so all these towns were filled with his friends. ret so this was a return for him in a very touching way.y. and for -- he was returned on the same trains -- on the same tracks that he'd been forever. i bought ai book about the fune lincoln funeral and i was going o star to startt reading it. and i just saved it.chance just by chance i was coming -- these are the same tracks we're on now. passenger trains.rain so i'mwi on an amtrak train with this book on a really gray rainy day back in january. with this book about the in ja
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funeral. i wasan amazed how moved i was to e g be going down these same tracks that carried lincoln's body 150 earli years earlier. what the funeral represents is esents the mourning of this nation for all the lives that were lost ande all the sacrifices that were made to save the union and end slavery. hour american history tv and prime time continues this week with programs from our real re america series taking viewers th throughro the 20th century with films on public affairs. first, the o films the true glory. then the baltimore plan on race and poverty in baltimore.that, after that former president t johnson speaks about the vietnam war and u.s. policy in the . region. and later, the 1970 nasa film on apollo 13 profiles the crew's follo
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dangerous journey home followingion. an oxygen tank education ploex.tern it all begins at 8:00 eastern friday here on cspan3.s this sunday night at 8:00 eastern on first ladies, influence and image. we'll look into the personal lives of three first ladies sarah sarah polk margaret taylor and abigai abigail fill more. sarah polk had a very strong belief in politics. her margaret taylor was opposed to margar her ethusband's nomination for president and taylor enjoyed esiden telling people he was praying for his opponent to win. abigail fill more was the first rst presidential wife to have a profession. sarahlo r,polk, this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan's t original series, first ladies, nd
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p examining the public and private lives and their influence on then presidency.le sundays at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on cspan3. cspan's new book, first ladies presidential his tore kbrans on the lives of 45 iconic american a women. it's available as a hard cover or e-book through your favorite bookstore or online book seller. we'll take you now to oak ridge cemetery in springfield, illinois for the 150th commemoration ceremony of president abraham lincoln's ab funeral. we'll see a procession and ceremony reenactment.ian then michael burlingame talks about the legacy of abraham lincoln and reflects on the ceremony in springfield. this is three hours and 20 minutes.
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skpnchts you're watching american history tv on cspan3. you're looking at now a live picture from oak ridge cemetery in springfield, illinois for thepresiden 150th anniversary of president abraham lincoln's funeral.springfi richard hart joining us from theyour cemetery. you ares a springfield resident and an author. your book is" lincoln springfield, the funeral of abraham lincoln."s goin tell us what we're going to see today, what's going to happen there behind you and all around you this afternoon. >> well, thank you.reenactm well today, you're going to see a reenactment of the funeral of abraham lincoln in springfield 150 years ago. and it started on the square downtown and it will take is on probably a halfth hour for the procession to reach oak ridge be a cemetery on the north side of
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springfield springfield. that procession will be a there wi reconstruction or reenactment of lincoln's actual funeral. so there will be a number of divisions with reenactors in those divisions. you'll actually see a replication of the funeral herselieve yo that was put together by a local funeral home. i believe you're going to see a horse which would have been abrahamle lincoln's horse bob led by an african-american henry brown coming into the cemetery. and then in back of me is the receiving vault at oak ridge cemetery. and it is there that lincoln's aced body as well as his son, willie, were placed at the time of the n lincoln funeral. >> mr. hart, why was president lincoln buried in springfield illinois? >> well, this was his home for 24 years before he went to
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washington d.c. and only a short time before he left springfield, oak ridge cemetery was created. and mary and abraham lincoln were present on the day that the cemetery was dedicated and all on of the speeches were made. and the story is that on the way home abraham lincoln said to mary that this is where i'd likeoln. to be buried. >> you mention mary todd lincolneave w and yetas she didn't attend the funeral in spring field. she didn't leave washington d.c.ha andt? travel with the train up to springfield. why is that? >> well, mary todd lincoln's a lifeny was one that -- she had to l face many, many tragedies. and this was perhaps the greatest of all. her husband, being assassinated she wa next tos her. and she was rightfully
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devastated by that. and was just not emotionally capable of making that trip back to springfield. her son, robert todd lincoln was there with her. and he did come to springfield >> i for thf e funeral. >> we see if you look on your screen, some of the reenactors.ose you might have seen some of those tents. who are those folks in the tents and how long have they been out ere there camped out? >> well i think some of them had been here since last wednesday and perhaps that's when they fist came. but thursday night when i was out here we came out after dinner and it was just a lot scen of -- a lot of the tents were up at that time. as i say, it was a beautiful scene. there was a full moon that e night -- i don't know if it was full but it was beautiful.
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and the oak ridge cemetery gate which was the original gate into the cemetery was lit up. and and then across the road in lincoln park were the tents withor the fires that they had lit for the evening. even>> we are to an expert on the subject of abraham lincoln's numeral. abraham lincoln died here in washington on april 15. his funeral on may 4 in springfield, illinois. what happened in the intervening time? what was going on in a couple of weeks back in 1865? those days during the time of his assassination in return and burial in springfield are kind of somewhat the subject of the book i have here, it was still with a lot of distress to the
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nation as to what was occurring. as far as lincoln's body, it was taken to the white house, it was autopsied and involved. -- and him bald -- there were viewings there and it was taken to the train station and laced in a cattle car owned one of the railroads, a car for the director of that railroad. the funeral train left washington dc and had a number of people on the train. some of them had actually taken the train with lincoln from springfield to washington, d.c. in 1861. the train made a very long long journey from washington, d.c. to springfield and went through some of the major cities in the east.
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there were large tributes to lincoln in new york city. the story is teddy roosevelt watched the procession from one of the windows. the train supposedly would not exceed 30 miles an hour. all of the tracks were cleared for this train and there was a lead train that went before it to make sure the tracks were clear. it eventually ended up in chicago and there was an enormous funeral in chicago lasting a couple of days with the viewing of the body at the courthouse. then the train made an overnight journey from chicago to springfield, arriving on the morning of may 4. at every crossing in the middle
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of the night, there would be people gathered, often with bonfires and in many instances there were large arches that had been built over the train tracks . they were decorated with evergreens and flowers, even in the middle of the night, the review hundreds of people that would come out to view the train. >> for our viewers today we have a couple of more things we will show folks. we going to look at the train station in springfield and have more about president lincoln's train. how may people came to springfield in 1865 for the funeral and the events surrounding it? >> that is an amazing question. the number is not certain that springfield at that time had a
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population of about 15,000 people. the estimate is between 75000 and 100,000 people came to springfield for the funeral. there were special trains from many of the midwestern cities that came into springfield and the people would stay on those trains for sleeping purposes and remarkably, it was the first time a pullman train had been used and it was a sleeping car. because of that use during the lincoln funeral, it gained acceptance by the railroads as another aspect of the passenger train. that was one of the things that came out of the lincoln funeral. >> we're looking at live pictures rum springfield illinois. a reenactment today of the funeral of abraham lincoln. we see some of the folks dressed
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up, the reenactors in costume. are these local reenactors or do people come from all over the country to participate in this event marks -- in this event? >> that's a wonderful question. i was out here two days ago and a couple from orlando, florida were here. they were dressed in. costumes that were absolutely spectacular. -- they were dressed in. costumes -- i offered to take their pictures together. that's how i got to have this conversation with them and they had come for this event from orlando florida. she gave me this funeral badge -- i don't know if you can see that are not. she made it to hand out to people in springfield.
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i've met a number of actors from midwestern states, i met a german from lancaster pennsylvania and his reenactment group had come out. i met a gentleman who came with his military got on it -- his military gone on a trailer. there is a subculture of reenactors in the united states. they have been here and many of the people you see in costumes i think are from out of town. many are from springfield, but it is hard to tell how to divide where they are from. it is a pretty broad spectrum. >> my understanding is you have lived in springfield for 47 years, most of your life. what is the mood of the
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springfield community about this reenactment? are people excited to host this event? >> it is remarkable. if you look at the schedule of events over the last several days perhaps you can hear in the background, there's a band playing. there have been at least 10 different band concert in the last two days. the churches around springfield and these band concerts are reenactors. they come from all over the united states. there was a symphony last evening -- the illinois symphony orchestra played a special program of lincoln music. there have been a number of
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lectures. i spoke in the st. paul's cathedral church and it was packed. at the edwards home, they are having a reenactment tea. it's a remarkable participation by the entire community for this event. i think everybody recognizes the importance of lincoln in our national life and they just want to be a part of that, too honor him and comresident abraham lincoln's funeral 150 years ago this weekend. with us at the cemetery, you can see richard hart, the springfield resident and author. we are going to let you have a chance to ask questions or weigh in with your thoughts on this event.
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our phone lines for you on the east or central time zone. one for those of you in the mountain or pacific time zones. you get a chance to ask a question if you like. i'm going to ask one now. the procession we are waiting to make its way up to the cemetery, and the reenactment of the actual speeches and funeral ceremony itself, are those historically accurate? will they be accurate representations of what took place 150 years ago? >> i believe so. i have seen the program and compared it richard hart: i believe so, very much exactly the same. that will be very exciting to see that. >> who were some of the notable figures that attended abraham lincoln's general 150 years ago
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and will those persons be portrayed today? who were the who's who at abraham lincoln's funeral? richard: there were many. many of the generals of the civil war were in attendance. in addition, there were people who had come here to participate in the funeral. reverend simpson had come. he was the prominent minister in the united states at that time. he came and he delivered the primary eulogy for abraham lincoln. in addition to that, there were photographers that came from philadelphia chicago -- there were reporters, believe it or not, that came from the
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newspapers, the new york papers, the washington a purse and -- the washington papers, one person who came that was a young reported -- a young reporter at the time formed the associated press. many of the photographs these photographers took here in springfield are still in existence and there is actually an exhibit in springfield that has all of those photographs. >> after abraham lincoln's assassination, andrew johnson became president, is that right? richard: yes. >> did he attend the funeral? richard: no. >> why not? richard: i think you have to remember that in addition to this numeral transpiring in a time of 90 days in american history, you had congress
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passing the 13th amendment freeing the slaves, it had to be approved by the states and i was not done until december of that year. you had lincoln delivering his second inaugural address, which is a masterpiece and then you have lincoln delivering a speech saying he believed certain black men should be allowed to vote. you had general robert e lee surrendering to grant and bringing about the closing of the civil war and the country was euphoric after that. been within a matter of a week, you have lincoln assassinated and everybody went into extreme morning. -- extreme mourning. because of that, there was a lot of uncertainty about the government and what was going to happen. a lot of people just stayed in washington. there was also the search for john wilkes booth and any
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conspirators. that took the front page of many newspapers, so there were a variety of things occurring and the people who came to springfield, and they were numerous from out of springfield the successor to lincoln did not attend. >> as we approach 3:00 on the east coast, 2:00 at your time, let's take our first caller. caller: i just have a general question. host: no angela. i'm sorry. we are going to work on our own
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call and as we try to get that could together, let me ask another question. you've got that procession making its way up. what would be the accuracy of some of the costumes we are seeing? are these accurate costumes these reenactors are wearing? richard: absolutely. they are very accurate. the lady walking toward us -- what i think you have the screen before, that is the original gate to oak ridge cemetery. one year ago that did not exist. where we are sitting his afternoon and where that lady is walking was pretty much a field of weeds and bramble. if you look in the background there, you see the oak ridge cemetery gate. that was re-created this year
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based upon photographs from the time. it's an absolutely wonderful reconstruction. it was dedicated in december of last year and is through those gates the procession will come. it was done, quite frankly because of this event today, but it will remain and be a part of the cemetery. it connects to lincoln park, which is immediately to the east and so it will become part of this total neighborhood and the people of the neighborhood will be able to use it as a way to get into the cemetery. what you are looking at now is across the street to the east of that sign, where you actually see the reenactor 10 -- reenactor tents and reenactors there. ar absolutely accurate and they
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are fanatic about every aspect of their costumes, the tenants their flags, the food they eat the betting they have, everything is a re-creation of the time they represent. that is what i was saying the other evening when we came out here -- it was absolutely beautiful, the white tents, they had fires going, it was really something. you can see now people walking on the sidewalk from that entrance. >> we're going to try one more time with the phone calls. we're going to see if we can get bob from bob, go ahead, you are on c-span three. caller: i understand that robert lincoln was at the final internment of abraham lincoln
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read is he buried there you go -- buried there? host: yes, the children are buried there except for robert. robert todd lincoln, by all accounts wished to be buried there. he was survived by his wife and she thought he deserved his own separate identity and monument. he is buried in washington dc it is very interesting. before he died he was brought back to the united states and was actually there read with his grandfather abraham. tom was taken out of this cemetery and taken back to washington to be buried with his fall -- with his father.
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robert todd lincoln is not varied here all of the other family members are. robert todd is buried in washington dc. host: we will go to boise, idaho. you are on. caller: good afternoon. i have another question about robert todd lincoln, how did he get to the cemetery? i read somewhere he was staying a couple of days in washington with his mother and let his father take care of him while he headed out the internment. richard: you are absolutely correct. this is one of the very interesting things i found when i was doing the research for the book. the robert todd lincoln did not
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intend to come to springfield for his father's funeral. david davis, the supreme court justice and who had been the judge of the circuit here in illinois, went to the white house immediately upon the death of lincoln and assembled all of his letters and documents, took them with him back to bloomington. but he stopped in chicago for a memorial to lincoln by the chicago bar association. after that meeting he sent a telegram to robert todd lincoln. i will paraphrase it, but it basically said robert, it is imperative you come to springfield. after talking to all of your father's friends they said that if you do not that you would regret it for the rest of your life area you should make
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preparations to come immediately. robert got on the train and did to springfield. he stayed here's -- stayed here for several days. he selected the spot and sent the selection to his mother, where it eventually the monument would be constructed. a perhaps you will be able to see that later on. host: the reenactment of president abraham lincoln's funeral, making some rule that some room for your phone calls. if you're out in the mountain or
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pacific time zone's -- we will go to idaho with jeff. go on ahead, you are on with our guest. caller: i was born and raised 30 miles from there. in a town called taylorville. my question is what, if any role did his former law partner play in the funeral? richard: that is a very interesting question. william herndon, who was lincoln's long -- lincoln's law partner at the time -- there was a love-hate relationship. lincoln loved him and mary todd lincoln hated him.
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he played some role, but nothing significant in the funeral. i found it curious myself, when i was doing this research, that he did not play a larger part. some of the other townsfolk played a much larger part in arranging for the funeral and making the decisions about what is to be done in planning the funeral. i don't know if people know about the controversy as to where in springfield he was to be buried. the local people all wanted him to be buried in the center of springfield on what is now the site of the illinois state capital.
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it was a private residence on a hill. these men in the city of springfield bought the property and had a vault built between the time of the death of lincoln and his arrival in springfield. mary lincoln did not want that to occur, and she threatened to remove him from spring field or not allow him be carried to spring field if that was done. a she insisted he be buried in oak ridge cemetery. her wishes one out. host: we will take a call from florida. terry, go ahead. you are on the air. caller: i would like to thank c-span3 for this program. my question is i understand
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after he was placed in the two that there was threats to steal the body or attempts to steal the body. i was told he had been moved out of there and placed elsewhere until the possible threats were taking care of. and that he was later reinterred back in. i understand for a period of time the body may not have been there. i would like to find out how accurate that is. richard: that's very interesting. we are getting far past the time of the actual funeral. to recount, where he was initially placed was a receiving fault. and that receiving vault was for general use, when people could not be buried immediately.
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between the time he was buried in may and december of 1865, there was a vault built on the side of this hill. they were moved into that involved in december of 1865. there was a lincoln monument association formed and they picked the site on the top of the hill. it was there they built the first monument. you are seeing it now on the screen. this is where lincoln was buried today. that is the site of the construction of the lincoln monument. it was redone. after it was redone this is the
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final monument. there were attempts to steal his body. as far as the people who were involved, they failed to do it. because of that threat or possibility of lincoln's body being stolen, the final internment was that a whole was dug, his hottie was placed into it, and then concrete was poured. he now lies in that tomb in back of me. but he is under many feet of concrete. you should go and ask about the number of times lincoln was exhumed and reburied. there may have been a period
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where people were in the tomb, looking at what they thought to be the burying site of lincoln when he was not in that actual site. host: we will go up the road. you are on c-span. caller: high. in i was sitting here listening watching the events on tv and everything. i can't remember if he was basically in the war the military, or something. was there any thought of him being buried at arlington national cemetery?
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i was wondering about that. richard: as far as his military record, he was in the black hawk war in springfield back in the 1830's. as commander in chief he would be entitled to be buried in arlington. i don't know of any suggestion that he was and i'm not certain as to when arlington came into existence. there was talk about the possibility of burying him in the capital building in the vault. there had been plans for george washington. his body did stay in the capital.
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the only place i know of that was considered in addition to springfield was washington, d.c. and perhaps chicago. i think it was part of the back and forth between mary, lincoln and springfield. i believe at some point she said we will just take him to chicago and bury him there. that is a very good question. that was not considered. host: we are going to get one more call in right now. it is bobby or richard hart. acaller: my mother is at oak ridge cemetery. she was buried there in 1982. that was the first time i had ever been out there.
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i did get to see the vault, which was open at that time. i did see the old fault and i wonder if you are going to talk about it. you started talking about the different places where he was. i remember a documentary probably on c-span, about how these people came in the middle of the night thinking they were going to rob his body and take it away. where he is now is beautiful. my mother is there. it was quite an interesting. i wonder what you can tell us about that. richard: are you asking about the receiving vault? caller: it is low to the ground. i remember picturing it in my mind. was that what they called it the receiving vault? richard: it
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is right in back of me. i'm sitting opposite the receiving fault -- the receiving vault. that is what i was talking about earlier. can you see the receiving vault? there is an angle shot i believe. host: we can see it. richard: that is the vault. that was built way in advance of lincoln's death. it was used basically to hold bodies until the ground might thought and they can dig a grave. hethey would put them in that
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receiving vault. it is almost fortuitous that it was there and lincoln's body was brought there together with willies, his little son who died in washington. they were moved into the vault. further up on the hill you will see the actual monument that is there today. that was built in later years. as far as the stealing of the body, i don't think it was done while it was either in the receiving fault or the bolts on the hill. it was later on. i claim no expertise in that area of history.
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asthere are some good books you might look into on the attempts to steal his body. host: a beautiful afternoon in springfield illinois. the oak ridge cemetery. a live reenactment today of the funeral ceremony for president abraham lincoln. this is the 150th anniversary of that event. we are going to re-create the funeral here for you on c-span3. our guest is richard hart, sharing his expertise on the subject. as we wait for the folks dressed up in the funeral procession and period costumes, let's take you now to the town of -- where david cloak of cloak construction has been building a replica of the train car
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david kloke: he never rode in this car. he did not want to because there were soldiers dying everywhere, and he thought this was too fancy to ride in while the war was on. he was supposed to look at this the day he died, april 15. it was built as a private car for him by the military in alexandria virginia, as a filler job to keep the shops busy. i still don't understand how they did that because with all the war effort, i would have thought they would have been busy. but they managed to build this car. they are not sure who ordered the car. they think stanton did, the secretary of war. after his death, they converted
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it to the funeral car to haul his body back to springfield. >> what happened to the original train after the funeral in 1865? david kloke: union pacific owned it. dr. rant used it as a business card. they owned it for a while and then sold it to a business in colorado. the railroad bought it and sold it to some man that took it on tour. it was in st. louis, i believe a man had thought it and was going to take it to minnesota and build a building to put it in. it was on the side in minneapolis and kids started a prairie fire and it got burned in minneapolis in 1911. this was a fancy car for the time. it would have been like the air force one of its day. as you can see, it is well decorated. it will be a close representation, as close as we
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can get. we think we are about 95% accurate. we have had a lot of volunteers to take care of the woodwork and upholstery. three guys showed up to the upholstery work at the right time. everybody seems to come right when we need them. i built two. -- period locomotives from scratch. i have always kind of wanted to build a car. what better car to build that an historic car? the lincoln funeral car, this was the only one made like this. it was the only one made by the government or owned by the government. they always leased their cars. i talked to friends in california about building a car. we kicked it around and decided to build the lincoln funeral car because it was an historic car. it will go on and be an educational tool. a lot of people get to see this car and see what it was like in
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1864, what the railroad cars looked like. they were pretty nice, as you can see. >> how long have you been working on this project? david: altogether, five years. about three. we were talking about it last night. when we lay the floorboards after the frame was built, it was last march, so i think we have done pretty well. this would have been a pilot room at one time. this is where willie's coppin was -- coffin was. willie was on this end and mr. lincoln was on the other end. we will decorate that for the funeral. the best of the car we will leave as it would have been before the funeral, as it was decorated for him. we don't have pictures of inside the car, but we have a lot of descriptions. that is also from alexandria virginia.
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somebody had the foresight to interview people who worked on the car before they passed away. i think it was in the 1920's. >> what was the central room? david: that would have been the central room -- stateroom, his bedroom,. there is not a lot of description, but we decorated it of the period. >> what are some of pieces -- the pieces in the room? david: we put in a bed that pis period. a lady who is a reenactor bought the furniture and had it be done. we don't know if it is exactly right. it is period furniture, we know that. what was in here was lost to history. >> the third room will be designed as his funeral room. his coffin will be there with two chairs which came off a slavery plantation. they were there to guard the coffin. we will have them set up on either side. we will also have the black rate
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drape -- black crate draped on the curtains. the carpet the exact same company that made the carpet for lincoln's funeral house also made this carpeting. it is made out of wool. it is an 18th-century carpeting that was made on a loom. they had to hand stitched some of the fabric together. we went with this, because in the descriptions -- we want with this color because in the descriptions, they talked about crimson rosettes and green leather. that is how we came up with this. david: there were 26 states in the union when mr. lincoln died. we put all 26 states, even the southern states. mr. lincoln was all about the union, so he pick -- we figured he would want all of them. lamps we had made by a fellow in california. i met him last july.
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he makes lamps for the movie industry. we created what we think the lamps would like from the descriptions and pictures we have. the etching on the windows we knew that from the original window the guy in minneapolis has. so we were able to get that etching. that is correct. we had a guy in tucson that is probably the foremost expert on this car. he has built several models. he is the technical advisor. he does not have a lot of detail on the inside, but on the outside he was instrumental in getting the color. there are several of the windows that survived. there is a man in minnesota. they took it to a lab and had a pain analysis done, so we know the color is correct. we knew the inside was this kind of white off-white, they call it zinc white in the book. that is an old terminology.
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we have a lot of pictures of the outside of the car. there are quite a few pictures of the outside, so we think we nailed the bunting. there is supposed to be more striping on the car but our funding has been low for that. goldleaf is not chief. -- not cheap. >> we have a full railing on this end with the door which was handmade by a blacksmith, which was really interesting to see. on the other end, we do not have the full set railing because that is the end they used to roll the coffin in out of the doorway. david: the trucks are brought up to modern specifications. they are all steel frame. back in the day, they would have been woodframe. they would have had a dual frame gauge that would have derailed every time they went through a switch. that was not a good idea and
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they fell out of favor quickly. after the war, they built everything to standard gauge which was mr. lincoln's idea. he signed a rule that the railroads would be standard gauge. he wanted to tie the east and west together. he wanted to tie california to the union. he signed the transcontinental railroad act also, so he did a lot of things for this country that people do not realize. >> the real significance is we really just want to re-create history. it is a once-in-a-lifetime project. we want to educate people, especially the youngest generation on how people traveled back then. lincoln was a magnificent man. he had a great vision when he decided to sign the railroad act, and he brought the central and union pacific together so we had railroad tracks across the country. that is what made our country grow.
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that is what made america america, so lincoln had a wonderful vision. we are honored to salute lincoln because it is the 100 years anniversary. we are passionate about the project and lincoln himself. it was lincoln who inspired dave to build the leviathan, a locomotive engine. he realized the 150th anniversary was around the corner. he felt the need to build this. he felt like this generation needed to make it happen for the 150th anniversary. host: live again from springfield, illinois, on american history tv on cspan3. the reenactment, 150 years later, of abraham lincoln's funeral. we have been waiting for the reenactors. we are told some thousand or so participating in events today, making their way up this road toward the cemetery.
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with us all afternoon has been our guest, springfield resident, lawyer author, richard hart, who is there. i see you are wearing your black ribbon on your suit lapel. what is that and is that historically accurate? richard: i don't know if it is historically accurate. the i told her i would wear it today. people here had these ribbons. there were a number of these ribbons made. some people have them and they are on exhibit in some of the museums. host: you can see the procession
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making its way up the street. can you tell us what you were seeing. richard: can you hear the bell ringing? that's the bell from the old tower here in the cemetery. it is being wrong to announce the entrance of the procession into oak ridge cemetery. one of the first divisions marching in full uniform. they are coming in really slowly. i lost it. i lost the hook up.
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host: we will let you find the hook up. as we do that we watch this procession very solemnly. let's watch and listen here on c-span3.
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>> it looks as if the first part of this is a military band walking very slowly. i don't know who the lady is in front here, but she certainly is not in proper military gear. you can see their instruments and they are of the period and then directly in back of them is one of the regiment. they are walking down what is known as 1st street and it's somewhat of a hill that will come down into the valley where we sit, and then they will come through the gate that we talked about earlier, which was the original gate into oak ridge
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cemetery. there we see the gate, and now it's being opened. across through the gate you can see some of the tents of the reenactors. s comment for a citizen or was this very unusual and very unique to abraham lincoln? richard: i think the victorian customs were elaborate. this was the ultimate funeral. in victorian funerals it was the ultimate. it was just the history of
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mankind. i don't know how many millions of people came back to springfield. there were probably 100,000 visitors or the funeral. host: with those visitors have lined this route? would they have been watching this procession and all that? richard: they would have and they would have been in this valley where i am sitting across from the vault. they were divided into divisions, the people who marched into this procession. it was by their military unit. there were clergy divisions. there were lawyer divisions. it just went on and on.
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the official order of the procession is very interesting to read as far as all of the different institutions and military groups. >> we saw some of the military reenactors. was that a common custom, a form of respect that the military would do an event like this? >> i believe so. they are now entering the gate. they are now just coming through the gate. it's just the drum i believe. i don't believe there playing any instruments. host: let's watch and listen to them. a live coverage of this 150th
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anniversary. richard: this is the hearse that you see now. host: what are those things on top of the hearse? richard: this was loaned to the city of springfield for this funeral by jesse are not, i funeral director in st. louis. this was the hearse of all hearses. it was reconstructed. great detail and great accuracy. they have done an absolutely outstanding job of detail and accuracy. i believe those are ostrich plumes on the hearse.
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i believe some of these horses were from the amish, around illinois. they have these workhorses. they leased them out for this occasion. the first part of the procession is approaching the receiving vault. you may not perhaps here the drumbeat.
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host: can you tell us a little bit about who the marshall in chief was historically and why he was the major general why was he the marshall in chief. >> i had lunch today with a lincoln scholar. i asked him that a very question because i did not know. he said he did not know either. he had a very interesting career in the united states military, both up and down. had been both successful and lost several battles. but he was in charge of this to
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the military aspects of it and he was in charge of this procession. he was very fond of the women. that is how the name got attached to certain aspects. now you are seeing the beautiful hearse. absolutely gorgeous. and the military -- again, drums beating. a very slow drumbeat. you can see the instruments.
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you are looking now at the hearse as it begins to make its approach into the gate. host: that is a re-creation of the coffin of abraham lincoln. is there something specially made for the president? richard: it was a group of people with an amazing amount of research for this occasion. it has been on this display. they have done a wonderful job. here comes the reverend henry brown with the horse of abraham lincoln. he was an underground railroad
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conductor, he worked for the lincolns. he was living in quincy and came in springfield to lead lincolns horse in the funeral. and you can see that. that is very moving. the soldiers have lined up in front of the receiving vault awaiting the approach of the carriage. you can see the pallbearers lined up in back, walking up with the hearse. many of those are descendents of the original pallbearers at the time of the burial. one of them is robert stewart his great-great-grandfather was taught stewart, who was a first
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law partner of abraham lincoln. he is in the procession today. now the carriage is approaching the receiving vault. it has become very quiet. you can see the pallbearers walking in with the white sash.
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the hearse is now approaching a receiving vault. host: what division is this that would be accompanying the hearst most closely that we are watching? >> there were many divisions many of them came from camp butler which was a union camp just east of springfield.
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many of these were units. the iron brigade, they are pulling the hearse off to the side. host: there you see the ostrich plumes. was that a common symbol of mourning in the victorian era? richard: i don't think anything approached this carriage. this carriage was probably an ultimate example of victorian
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funeral carriages. host: at the time 150 years ago were there for an ignorant terry's present as well is there in springfield? were foreign dignitaries present? richard: my book lists all of the various people who were here. probably 20 generals from the civil war. davis, who was a supreme court justice, there were many people. there were a number of dignitaries. a number of dignitaries came within the weeks after their burial.
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host: if anyone outside of the united states was able to arrive in spring field, president lincoln dying april 15, his funeral on may 4. richard: i'm not aware of any kind of diplomatic foreign representatives or any europeans that may have come before the funeral. at the end of the funeral procession in the original order proceedings, it was the colored people and others. as this came in to oak ridge cemetery on the north side of springfield, there were assembled approximately 10,000
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americans to pay respects. host: we are told the first division was head up by the marshall in chief along with the brigadier general. second division was a military not assigned to the you would -- to the unit. the third division had the pallbearers. the congressional delegation and the governors. of fifth division as local government. similar organizations. delegations from universities and colleges. local fire companies.
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and then the eighth division would have been the citizens at large. that was the way they lined them up 150 years ago. i would assume they are re-creating that to some extent. richard: the original procession of 100 50 years ago was much larger than what we have seen today. host: you can see some of the fire company there in period costumes. richard: there is a great photograph in downtown springfield right before they left on the procession. an absolutely wonderful
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photograph. it's interesting, you see the sash on that gentleman. different sashes had different meanings. the color would mean something or the way they are trained would mean something. that is a way of identifying. many of the people have the funeral medallion on, as i have had on my coat this afternoon. none of them wear black. do you know why that is? at that time only the family of the deceased was dressed in
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black. you were not supposed to dress in black if you are not a member of the family. ashost: i see that applied more to the ladies than the gentleman. that would have been there every day where. richard: exactly. ishost: we are watching with richard hart in spring field illinois, the reenactment of the funeral procession of president abraham lincoln 150 years ago. when the procession has ended, i was just going to ask when the
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procession has got themselves all the way in then it would be a reenactment of the ceremony, including the oratory. and we are going to bring that to our viewers as well. let's watch the soldiers move in the coffin. >> you see the umbrellas there because the mass of the photographers there, just like
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today, in the heat of the day. so again, a live picture there on your screen from springfield illinois. it's the re-creation of the funeral that took place some 150 years ago.
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the uniforms of the union army, hearing the voice as well of richard hart, an expert on the subject, and a springfield resident, expert on the subject of abraham lincoln. what is your book called richard? richard: the funeral of abraham lincoln, 1865. >> how long did it take you to research all of this for that book and to put that together? how long have you been interested in this particular event in the history of abraham lincoln? richard: i collected photographs from 19th century springfield are number of time. i had a number of photographs from the funeral in 1865. i knew this funeral was coming up. i thought it was a boring topic
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but it is absolutely fascinating. the whole story from the time of the assassination to the time of the burial. it is an incredible story. it took me about three years. host: the event capturing the imagination of others. are these reenactors and the other people in period costumes, are they at their own expense? they spend their own money buying and assembling those outfits? richard: yes, it is. it can not become very expensive but the military equipment, guns and swords and all of the other outfitting for a military person, they buy.
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there are events where they go in there will be a huge place to buy things as -- and buy things. it can become a very expensive hobby. there is great camaraderie among the participants. you see us perform during the day but our camps at night -- it is like las vegas. they say they have a lot of fun. the body is now being taken i believe, around for a viewing, i guess.
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and this is the coffin you mentioned earlier in which you can get a better view of now. it was very elaborate and beautiful. every town the train went through, it seemed there were enormous bouquets of flowers that would be offered. some of them were put on the outside of the train. just an outpouring of tributes.
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host: we talking with richard hart about this re-creation and reenactment involvement was there? was it a denominational ceremony of any sort or nondenominational? can knew -- what can you tell us about that. richard: william simpson was the minister. he was the principal speaker, i believe he was methodist.
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there were other ministers who either read psalms or other religious passages. and the music was very traditional. it seems to be a long funeral service. i don't know if you would call it nondenominational. it was christian, simply because the people who spoke were christian ministers. lincoln never joined a church. his wife belonged to the first presbyterian church in springfield.
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lincoln had heard and thought he was an outstanding minister. the people here are assembling before a large stage that has been erected, that would not have been there at the time of the funeral. this is a large stage. flowers and different plans. one of the regiments is lined up in front of the stage now.
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the coffin as i black and -- the coffin is on a black tablecloth. you can see it now. behind that and toward the other hill here, there are assembled people in period dress. some men in top hats. some of them have parasols and umbrellas. and the flow of the people extends from here in the valley as far as i can see, up the hill and back. people are standing in the and behind the vault.
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this stage is not something that was there that was into 1865, but perhaps everyone will get to be able to better see and hear. also, a big screen tv, and outdoor television up for everybody to see what's going on. >> let's ask that question. >> the only reason the cemetery was outstanding -- >> richard, can you hear me? >> probably one of the best examples in midwest illinois. they have been trimmed for this occasion. we had a drought several years ago and some of the oaks were
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taken down to the last week by volunteers. the trees have been dated back to the lincoln era. so, they are saving the tree would and making that into mementos for people who visit oak ridge >> as you can see here, the reenactment of the ceremony about abraham lincoln's funeral looks like it's about to get underway. we're going to thank our guest on site there in springfield for being with us all afternoon and offering us his insight. afternoon and offering his insight. author of the book "the funeral of abraham lincoln." this is "american history tv."
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as you can see, this reenactment on a beautiful spring day in springfield is underway and we will bring it to you here now in its entirety. when the funeral reenactment itself is done we will have a chance for you to talk to a historian and we will take some more of your phone calls. ♪
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[crying baby]
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>> good afternoon. we thank you for being here to be part of this solemn assembly. at this time i would like to introduce to you lynn woolsey who will portray reverend albert hale. >> let us pray. father in heaven, we acknowledge the as the author of our being and the giver of every good and perfect gift. you give life, you take it away. the lives of men and of nations are in your hands. we bow before you today believing in that presence and asking that with submissive hearts we may acknowledge the in the serious thoughts that press upon millions today.
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we thank that you give to this nation your servant, so mysteriously and maliciously taken from us. we thank the, father in heaven that thou did give him to your people and that he was raised in a position of power and authority that through him you have been led through to the present hopeful condition of our public affairs. before the our hearts are in grief and sorrow and we entreat the to remember especially the bereaved widows and families. we play that -- pray that in this hour of trial god gives to them the blessings that they need and so open the fountains of divine consolation that they in their grief shall see that it is not a sorrow, but under god the opening day of nebulous -- never-ending blessings.
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today we commit them and relatives who mourn in this distressing event we commit the people of the city and state in which he has grown up in whose affection he holds today in his death stronger than in the most powerful moment of his life. versatile god, bless us help us to cherish the memory of his life and the work on the high example he has shown. we do pray that the high purpose for which he lives may be carried to completion. god, thank the for the other example that you set us in the city year, the truth, the love of freedom, the opposition to wrong, and injustice is slavery. we pray that god will grant policy of our government touched upon in these issues may be successfully carried through her not a slave will carry shackles in the land and not a soul be
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found that will not rejoice in his glory and power in the hearts of this nation. god, our father, give us grace and wisdom to him who is so mysteriously called to occupy the chair of state. give unto him humility and wisdom to direct his steps, a love of righteousness and cherish the freedom of the people while he sits at the helm of the nation. our father in heaven, we pray upon the millions who have come out of bondage, remember them my brother, give to him who has taken from us, may all the people unite in their prayers their patients, their self-denial so that these may come up and take their place in the nation's citizens rejoicing in newborn privileges and the rights in which god gave and man cannot rightfully take away.
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father in heaven, we ask my blessing upon all those endeavoring today to secure the public interest against the hands of an assassin and prevent the murder of those in high places. god, let i just dislike righteousness and power rid the nation of those from these evils arise. maybe union rise up and become a night -- a light on the nation of earth in future times. father in heaven, thou art just and righteous. only and all of thy doings are we simple and unworthy of privilege, but that has not dealt us after our sins. according to your iniquity there are services still to be performed here and accepted by christ our redeemer and the
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father and the holy spirit glory everlasting -- amen. >> ♪ ♪
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>> benjamin cole will be playing dr. meyer.
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>> a reading from job, chapter 19. have pity upon me, have pity upon me my friends, for the hands of god have touched me. why do you persecute me as god and are not satisfied with my flesh? oh, that my words were now written, that they were printed in a book, that they were graven with an iron pen and led in the rock forever. for i know that my redeemer lives and that he shall stand at the latter-day upon the earth and go after my skin worms destroy the body, yet in my flesh i shall see god, whom i shall see for myself and my eyes
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shall behold, not another. my brains be consumed within me. the word of the lord. ♪
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>> chief justice williams, rhode
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island supreme court retired for reverend dr. matthew simpson. >> fellow citizens of illinois and many parts of our entire nation near the capital of does large and growing state of illinois in the midst of this beautiful grove, at the vault that is about to receive the remains of our former chieftain we gather to pay a respectful tribute and shed tears of sorrow for him. a little more than four years ago he left his plane and quiet home, exchanging parting words with friends gathered around him. he spoke of the pain of parting from the place where he had lived for a quarter of a century. with his children, where they
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have been born and he had enjoyed the company of his many friends. as he left, he made an earnest request in the hearings of some present at this hour as he was about to take on the responsibilities which he believed to be greater than any that had fallen upon any man since the days of washington. people would offer prayer that god would aid and sustain him in the work. he left your quiet city, but as he went snares were in waiting for the chief magistrate. he escaped the dangers on the way to washington only through the vigilance of officers and the prayers of the people so that final tragedy was suspended for more than four years. how different the occasion which witnesses departure from that
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which witnessed his return. doubtless you expected to take him by the hand, feel his warm grasp and feel his -- see his tall form walking among you. but he was never able to return until he came with mute lips, silent framed in a coffin and a weeping nation following as his mourners. there have been other mornings when kings and warriors have fallen -- but never has there been such morning is that which has accompanied this funeral procession for our loved one who now sleeps among us. tears fill the eyes of manley sunburned faces. strongmen, as they clasped the hands of their friends, were not able to find words to express their grief. women and even children felt
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deep sorrow. the nation stood still. men left their plows in the fields the home of factories ceased, the sound of the hammer was not heard. busy merchants closed their doors, businesses and homes were draped in black. three weeks have elapsed and there is a mournful silence upon the land. this morning is not confined to any class or district of the country. men of all political parties and all religious creed have united in paying this mournful tribute. the archbishop of the roman catholic church and the protestant minister walk side by said, and a jewish rabbi
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performed a part of the solemn services. here gathered around his to mark soldiers sailors, governors, judges, officers of all the branches of the government. here, too, are men and women from the humblest and highest occupations. here too, sincere and warm tears coming from the eyes of those who have been freed from their chains by him, whom they mourn as their deliverer. more persons have gazed on the face of the departed than ever looked upon the face of any other departed man. have looked on the procession by 1600 miles, night and day, sunlight dawn, twilight and torchlight than ever before watch the progress of a procession. why has there been this extensive morning, this great
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outpouring of grief and this great procession? perhaps it is become -- because of the time in which we live, in which he was the principal actor. this is an age of change. a time of war in which brother fought brother and families were divided. wise gave them -- wives gave their husbands, mothers their sons. many never returned and there was morning in every home in the land. then came signs about the end of this rebellion was dear. news came that richmond had fallen. the bells rang merrily across land. the booming of canon was heard. illuminations and torchlight processional's manifested joy and families were looking for the speedy return of loved ones
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from the field of battle. just in the midst of this wildest joy in one hour, in one minute all the joy was stilled when news that abraham lincoln the best of presidents, had perished by the hand of an assassin. all of the feelings that have been gathering for years in the forms of excitement, grief power and joy turning into a whale of 10, a sadness inexpressible, and anguish on honorable. he was stricken down when his hopes were bright and prospect of a joyous life before him. perhaps the great cause of this morning is to be found in the man himself.
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mr. lincoln was no ordinary man. a conviction has been growing on the mind of the nation that by the hand of god he was especially singled out to guide our government in these troubled times. he had a quick and ready perception of fact, a memory unusually tenacious and retentive, and a logical turn of mind that followed unwaveringly every link in the chain of thought on which he was called to investigate. there have been more minds more broad and their character, more comprehensive in their scope but he had the ability to follow, step-by-step, with more logical power the points that he desired to illustrate. he gained this power by a determination to proceed and perceive the truth in all its relationships and simplicity and when found, to honor it.
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his moral power gave him preeminence. the people saw abraham lincoln as an honest man who would do what was right, regardless of the consequences. it was this moral feeling that gave him the greatest told on the people. but the great act of the mighty chieftain on which his name shall rest long after his frame shall molder away, is that of giving freedom to a race. such a power, such an opportunity god has seldom given to man. none of the event shall be forgotten when his world shall have become a network of republics and when every throne shall be swept from the face of the earth and literature showing light and all mines and the
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claims of humanity recognized everywhere. the shelti conspicuous on the pages of history. we are thankful that god gave to abraham lincoln the grace to issue that proclamation that stands high above all others penned by uninspired men. abraham lincoln was a good man. he was known as an honest, temperate, forgiving man. a just man. a man of noble heart in every way. look over his features. listen to his utterances. he never spoke unkindly of any man. even the rebels received no word of anger from him. in his domestic life he was exceedingly kind and affectionate. he was a devoted husband and father.
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standing as we do today by his coffin, let us resolve to carry forward the policy that he so nobly began. let us do right by all men. let us bow in the sight of heaven -- val in the sight of heaven to eradicate every vestige of human slavery. to give every human being his true position before god and man. to crush every form of rebellion and to stand by the flag which god has given us. the time will come when, in the beautiful words of he whose lips are now forever sealed, the mystic chords of memory stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and heart stone all over this land will yet swell the course of the
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union when it is touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our feature. chieftain, farewell. the nation mourns you. mothers shall praise your name to the children. man shall emulate your virtues. statesmen shall study your record and learned the lessons of wisdom. you, though your lips be, still speak. hushed is your voice, but the echoes of liberty ring through the world and the sounds of bondage lifted the joy. yet you are marching abroad and chains and manacles are versed in etch or touch. we crown you with humanity in throwing you as your triumphant
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son. hero, monarch, friend, farewell. [applause] ♪
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>> reverend jerome kowalski will portray reverend ac hubbard. >> during the first week of march in 1865 on the steps of the capitol in washington city the 16th president of these united states gave his second inaugural address. this is what mr. lincoln said. fellow countrymen, at this second appearing to take the oath of presidential office there is less reason for an extended address than the was at the first. then a statement somewhat in detail to be pursued seemed fitting the proper. now at the expiration of four years through which public declaration has been publicly called for on every point and phase of the great contest
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which still absorbs the attention and egress of the nation build as new could be presented. the progress of our arms upon which all else chiefly depends is well known to the public as it is to myself. and it is, i trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all would hope for the future that no prediction with regard to it is ventured. on the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. all dreaded it. all sought to avert it. while the inaugural address was being delivered the vote to save the union without war was searching for agents in the city seeking to destroy it. seeking to dissolve the union
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through negotiation. one party would make war rather than let the nation survive. the other would accept war rather than let it perish. the war came. not distributed generally over the union, but localized in the southern part of it these slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. everyone knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. strengthening, perpetuating, strengthening this interest is the union rendered, even by war, while the government claimed no right to more than a restricted territorial enlargement of it. neither party expected the magnitude or duration that it has already attained.
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neither anticipated that the core of the conflict might cease before the conflict itself should cease. each looked for an easier triumph and in the result less fundamental was astounding. both of them read from the same bible and pray to the same gods invoking their names against the other. it may seem strange that any man should have to ask a just god's assistance in this, but let us not judge lest we be judged. the prayers of both could not be answered. neither have been answered fully. the him might he has his own purposes. while on the world because of its offenses, must needs be the offenses come, but will to the man by whom the offenses have
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come. if we shall suppose that american slavery is one of those offenses through the providence of god need come, but which having continued through his appointed time he now wishes to remove he gives the north and the south this terrible war and doomed are those for whom the offense came should we discern and there any departure from that tribute in which the believers in the living god always ascribed to him? finally, do we hope, fervently do we pray that this mighty scourge of war might speedily pass away. yet it is god's will that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman, 250 years of unrequited toil be sunk and every drop of blood drawn by the lash be paid by another drawn by the sword, as was said 3000
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years ago, so must it still be said the judgments of the lord are true and righteous altogether. with malice toward no one but charity for all, with firmness as god gives us the right to see, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, binding up the nation's wounds, to care for him who have borne the battle with widow and orphan and do all that may be achieved and cherished in lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. [applause] >> ♪ amazing grace, how sweet
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the sound that saved a wretch like me, i once was lost but now am found, was blind but now i see ♪
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>> we rejoice in the communion
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of saints, we remember all have faithfully lived, all who have peacefully died, those most dear to us and, our good friend and great leader abraham lincoln, who now rest in the. give us at length the portion of those who trusted in you and trusted to do your holy will, undoing your name with the church on earth and church in heaven, describing in very, a world without end, amen. ♪
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>> the reverend jean tucker will portray reverend dr. phineas whirly. >> with your kind permission may i be permitted to share some portion of the words offered at the funeral service for our slain chief executive in the east room of the executive mansion in washington, d.c. on april 19? as we stand here, today, around this coffin and around the lifeless remains of our beloved chief magistrate, we recognize and adore the sol and -- solemn
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treaty of god, his throne in the heavens and his kingdom ruling over all. he have done and has permitted to be done whatsoever he pleases. whom the lord love, he's how these blessed words have cheered, strengthened, and sustained us through these long and weary years of civil strife while our friends and brothers on so many sanguine fields were falling and dying for the cause of liberty and union. let them cheer and strengthen and sustain us today. through this new sorrow and chastening have come in such an hour and in such a way as we ought not that he should be taken from us and taken just as the prospect of peace was
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brightly opening upon our torn and bleeding country, just as he was beginning to be a animated and gladdened, the hope of enjoying with the people the blessed fruit and reward of his and their toil and care and patience and self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of liberty and the union. when he was leaving his home in illinois and coming to the city of washington to take his seat in the executive chair of a disturbed and troubled nation he said to the friends who gathered tearfully around him and made him farewell -- i leave you with this request, pray for me. they did pray for him.
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millions of others prayed for him. they did not pray in vain. the answer appears in all of his subsequent history, shining forth with a heavenly radiance and the full force and tenor of his administration, from its commencement to its close. god raised him up for a great and glorious mission, furnished him for his work, aided him in its accomplishment. nor was it merely by strength of mind and honesty of heart and purity and pertinacity of purpose that he furnished him. in addition to these things he gave him a calm and abiding confidence in the overruling providence of god in the ultimate triumph over truth and righteousness in the power and the blessing of god.
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this confidence strengthen him in his hours of anxiety and toil and inspired him with calm and cheery hope when others were inclining to despond and see. never shall i forget the emphasis and deep emotion with which he said in the east room of the executive mansion to a company of clergyman and others who called to pay him their respects in his darkest days of our civil conflict -- gentleman he said, my hope of success in this great and terrible struggle rests on that immutable foundation, the justice and goodness of god. when it events were very threatening and prospects very dark, i still hope that in some way that man cannot see, all will be well in the end.
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because our cause is just and god is on our side. such was his sublime and holy faith. it was an anchor to his soul both sure and steadfast. by dwelling constantly on your words and actions, our beloved president, your people will have an illustrious character before their eyes. if not content with the image of your mortal frame, look on his more valuable form and features of your mind. busts and statues, like their originals, are frail and perishable. but you our lamented friend and head, delineated with truth and fairly consigned to posterity will reside yourself triumphing over the injuries of time. let us pray.
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mighty god and loving father, we commend time mercy the solo by some -- humble servant abraham praying that having opened unto him the gates of larger life he may be received more and more into by loving presence, that he may enter into the blessing promised to all. grant us by thy grace the cherish of the good work done in him and by the agency of empowering spirit may we be enabled to carry forth the ideals of liberty for which he labored and to strive to perfect the union of these united states. remembering and i great mercies and loving kindness, we ask these things for the sake of a holy name, amen.
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>> it is my honor and privilege to introduce to you a woman i met a few months ago who i will call a very good friend. [applause] >> governor, mrs., distinguished guests, we have actors were very distinguished. ladies and gentlemen and 1865 the funeral of abraham lincoln was a dark and difficult time in life. how honored we have been over the last couple of days to present to you the images of what happened in 1865.
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it truly has been an honor. [applause] there are a couple of additions we want to add to the program that i think you will all appreciate. with the pallbearers please come forth -- would the pallbearers please come forth? one of the parts of this program was that we wanted to bring in the actual history. we were able to do that within our pallbearers. i know they are coming.
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katie: would you be kind enough gentlemen to come along the front here. and, if you can, single file. as a genealogist, i find it important to connect the past with the present. and what i would like you all to know right now is within these pallbearers, we have direct descendents of the original pallbearers. would you please stand -- step
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forward, those of you who are descendents, please step forward. [applause] thank you so much. it is truly touching to me to find that we have these individuals here who are re-creating the role their ancestor played, and i am truly honored that they are here. i want to thank the springfield choral society and the community members i have no idea how many -- i know that that choir over there is absolutely magnificent. would you be kind enough to show them -- [applause]
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their director has had to put up an awful lot with me. [laughter] [applause] i also want to thank the band over here. [applause] while we are doing this, we also need to thank our interpreter today. [applause] i would like to now, as a commander and the crew from the uss abraham lincoln who have honored springfield with their presence over the last couple of days. [applause]
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they will be placing a wreath at the fault, and i know some of you may not be able to see it. trust me, you will see it when it is son. we will let them get on with their great work.
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commander and crew, we are honored to have you here. [applause] i believe that this event has shown to all of us how important abraham lincoln is, not only here but around the world. the gentleman that are here representing the clergy have come from a number of different places. you will also see that we have an empty chair.
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yes, it is difficult. an extraordinary man was part of our group, and he suddenly passed away. and it was my intention then and it is now to make sure that keith is represented here with that anti-chair. -- that empty chair. [applause] we also had two alternates for the clergy, one of them is reverend anderson. the other is malcolm shotwell. and i'm grateful to them for always being able to pinch hit when we need it. [applause]
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i'm now going to turn this event over so that we can have the last parts of it occur. we are going to go back a little bit into history yet again. general hooker, the rest of the program, sir, is yours. general hooker: abraham lincoln our favorite son, our neighbor, our friend, taken from us far too soon did live to see a house divided. was reunited. that house does stand united. as there were two, now there is one. and the following brothers now
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stand has one. delaware, 1787. pennsylvania, 1787. new jersey, 1787.
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georgia, 1788. connecticut, 1788. massachusetts, 1788. maryland, 1788. south carolina, 1788. new hampshire, 1788. virginia, 1788. new york, 1788. north carolina, 1789. rhode island, 1790. vermont, 1791. kentucky, 1792. tennessee, 1796. ohio 1803. louisiana, 1812. indiana, 1861.
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mississippi, 1817. illinois, 1818. alabama, 1819. maine, 1720. missouri, 1721. arkansas, 1836. michigan, 1837. florida, 1845. texas, 1845. iowa, 1846. wisconsin, 1848. california, 1860. minnesota, 1858. oregon, 1859.
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kansas, 1861. west virginia, 1863. and nevada, 1864. and the war was over. [gunshot] [applause] and now, he belongs to the ages. thank you. [applause]
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[gunshots]
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>> that brings to an end in reenactment of lincoln's funeral in springfield illinois. in just a minute, the university of illinois scholar michael burling game will be joining us to take your calls and talk about this day. he's the author of "abraham lincoln: a life." 748-8901 is a number for mountain and pacific time zones. you can also leave a comment on facebook. professor burling game, what was it like 150 years ago?
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michael: very similar. the conditions that prevailed today are quite similar. >> was there ever any question that abraham lincoln would be buried in springfield? michael: yes. his widow was upset by the plans made to have him buried in the center of town. she insisted that he be buried in oak ridge, which is north of the center of town. she claims that it was her husband's wish. she threatened to have his remains buried in chicago, until authorities bowed to her wishes. it was legitimate, because the widow has the right to determine where her husband's remains are buried.
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she was not there. she was so grieve-stricken by the assassination, that she remained in the white house for several weeks after the assassination. her older son, robert, came out here. but he was the only family member that made it to springfield for the occasion. >> today's events, how accurate from your research? michael: based on what i have discovered, they are extremely accurate. the organization has been very conscientious about making this as historically accurate and authentic as possible. professor, what happened 150 years ago the rest of this day? michael: i assume the crowd dispersed and that was that. >> let's take some calls.
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he is a professor at the university of illinois springfield and a lincoln next bird. caller: hi. my question is, the symbolic vote that the local springfield committee made, i think there was about 16 members. would that vote, is it symbolic to vote on or in the president's wife's wishes. if that vote had turned the other way, would they have put him on another plot? michael: it is not entirely clear what would happen if the 8-7 vote has been reversed. it is possible that she would
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have insisted to bury him elsewhere. the funeral vault the neath the capital had been created for george washington, but he is buried in mount vernon. there is an empty space, as it were. >> 20 days between his death and his funeral. how do they preserve the body? michael: with embalmers. one of the more alarming aspects is that the funeral train proceeded from washington to baltimore, then philadelphia, the new york, harrisburg, and so one. albany, buffalo, cleveland, chicago, then springfield. the body began to deteriorate. the makeup artist were
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hard-pressed from keeping the corpse of looking like a mummy. by the time he reached here, he was more like a mummy then the man in real life. >> is it what we call an open casket when he was there? michael: yes open casket. caller: i would like to know how long did it take for lincoln's body to be really interred? wasn't there a fear about the tomb wasn't finished yet and they put him somewhere inside of it -- i'm not sure. michael: i'm not exactly sure how long the body was in the vault before it was closed rapidly. but it was a while. >> his body has been at oak ridge ever since, correct?
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michael: correct. caller: i would just like to make a comment. the program was outstanding except for the fact that i don't feel that the taurus and the citizens that were not dressed in the era were very respectful. of our fallen president. i just wanted to let them know that that was a terrible shameful way to act, laughing and cheering on when they are carrying the casket into the tomb. >> thank you, ma'am. do you know how many people were at oak ridge on that day? michael: i'm sorry, i don't. caller: hello.
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how many years did abraham live in springfield? michael: mr. lincoln moved into the house in 1844 and left in 1861, so he was there for 17 years. the house that we know today was not there until 1856. most of the time that lincoln spent in that house, it was a one story modern house. it was a the last five years that they lived in a house with the extra story added, that was done by mrs. lincoln. when we visit the house, we get a distorted view of what it looked like. it was much more cramped than
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what we find when we go to the house today. >> if people come to visit springfield, what will they see that is reflected of abraham lincoln and his life? michael: there is a great deal here. it is what i somewhat irreverently referred to as the holy land. you have the lincoln home, the lincoln tomb, the lincoln law office, and the old state capitol where he served as the legislator as a young man and where he gave his house divided speech in 1858. you can see the train station from which he departed for washington in 1861 and where he delivered his beautiful farewell to the people of springfield. so, there is a great deal to be seen. on top of that, you have abraham lincoln's museum, which is quite
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a magnificent place for visitors to get a good overview of the life and times of abraham lincoln. so, please come. >> c-span was live with the opening of that museum. you can find that at c-span.org if you would like to watch our coverage. caller: hello. are there any other immediate family members of abraham lincoln buried their? michael: yes. mrs. lincoln is buried here and willie is buried here and eddie is buried here. all three sons -- three of the four sons are buried here. robert todd lincoln is buried in arlington cemetery. he served as a captain during the war, and as a military veteran, his wife thought he
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should be buried and arlington cemetery. when i discovered that, i went out to arlington to visit his grave, and i was startled to see that his grave is 200 yards from my parents. >> what was mary todd lincoln's life like in springfield? michael: she was not very popular in springfield. she had antagonized her sisters she had antagonized neighbors. she was not eager to return to springfield after her husband step. she spent time in chicago, spent time abroad. only in the later years did you come back to springfield. so she was rather unpopular, and that's why she stayed away. lincoln was asked by his friend what he planned to do after his second term was over, and he
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said that he planned to return to springfield, but mrs. lincoln didn't want to. caller: good afternoon. i was calling to ask the gentleman, in the reenactment today, with the casket carried is that his actual casket or a replica? michael: i'm sorry -- >> was at a repit a replica? michael: yes, it is a replica. i didn't know where it is stored. caller: hi. it is an honor to speak to you.
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i wanted to ask, can you talk about what happened with robert lincoln. 30 or 40 years later, when they had to go into the tomb and open up the casket, check something about the president can you talk about why that was necessary, please? michael: i'm not intimately familiar with that story. but there was a concern to make sure that it was actually the body of the president, and the only surviving son would be the one to identify. i cannot give you more details about that. >> what do you teach at the university of illinois? michael: i teach a course on the reconstruction, and a seminar on abraham lincoln. caller: i was wondering if this is the first time there has ever been a reenactment of his interment.
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if not why 150 years later? why has there never been one before and why now? michael: i don't know the answer to that. i know that the people that have been so conscientiously working to honor this 150th anniversary of the event have been extremely conscientious. it is a good question. i don't have the answer to your question. >> are there any lincoln ancestors alive? michael: no, there are no lineal descendents. robert litan had a son, but he died young. caller: i thought they tried to
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take his body several times, so his body was actually moved. michael: yes, the body was actually moved around. there has been a bizarre plot to steal the president's body. it was the gang that could not shoot straight, and it failed but it created such anxiety that the body was moved around within the tomb on more than one occasion in order to foil future attempts. >> why the train route that was taken from washington back to springfield? michael:
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prof. burlingame: the train ride which re-created the train ride he took from illinois to washington. chicago was added on the return trip. it was undertaken and part two allow -- to allow the public to express morning, not just for abraham lincoln, but the outpouring of grief it was accompanying the funeral train was in part grieving for the 400,000 union soldiers who died during the war, many of him could not be mourned properly by their loved ones because they were buriedin in unmarked graves. and so in those days, families were much more likely to stick together. they live in similar communities. and so, when a family member was dying, you would be present with that person. you would attend the funeral and
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the like. and this was considered a very important ritual for people to be able to engage in when they lost a loved one. but so many thousands of thousands of people could not do that. and so the train ride was a kind of cathartic exercise which allowed the nation, at least the north, to engage and morning not only for the fallen leader but for their fall in love points. that i think is the reason why it was such a powerful experience. it is estimated that 5 million people would have seen the train or the coffin. one of the most striking things about the train ride to my way of thinking was the reminiscences of people who as children were taken to see the train. as they worote about it in later years, they were more struck by the fact not that they saw the train itself but that they saw tears in their parent's eyes. host: who are some of the
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dignitaries that attended abraham lincoln's funeral? prof. burlingame: the dignitaries that attended the funeral work as we saw this afternoon, phineas gurnee, who the preacher at the new york avenue presbyterian church where president lincoln attended worship services during his presidency. bishop matthew simpson was the head of the methodist church, the largest church in the country at that time. and local authorities including his good friends who had worked with him in politics and the law. general hooker who had been commander of the army of the potomac in 1863. and several other people of that sort. host: but not ulysses s. grant? prof. burlingame: no. host: juan, georgia. go ahead. caller: professor burlingame? i happened to live in
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springfield in the 1940's. i lived west of town. [voice breaking up] i used to walk from the capitol building to petersburg where lincoln's village was. and back that day to get, earn a badge. we had a well on the front lawn and i pumped a lot of water for a lot of boy scouts from all over the country. my sunday school teacher, i attended the first methodist church in springfield on n fit street. and my sunday school teacher was judge logan's. grandson. we heard many stories about mr. lincoln. i do not remember a lot of them, i was seven years old, but judge logan many mornings came to work and found mr. lincoln asleep on the couch. yes. and -- his grandson in atlanta right
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now. and i talked to him not too long ago. host: michael birmingham, who is judge logan? prof. burlingame: judge logan was lincoln's second law partner. he had three law partners. he started off with john stewart with whom he served in the legislature and in the blackhawk war. his second law partner with stephen t logan. stephen to logan was probably the best lawyer in central illinois and was very incidental in teaching lincoln the law. and lincoln regarded him as a kind of second father. lincoln cannot get along very well with his own father. he was rather estranged from his own father. older men in positions of authority like judge logan served as surrogate fathers for lincoln. he was one of the most important. he was also political ally. they were good members of the whig party together. and champions of the republican party. and judge logan was deeply devoted to lincoln and lincoln
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to judge logan. there are many people in springfield whose ancestors are close to lincoln. in fact, this is something of a rivalry among people here whose ancestors knew lincoln. my ancestor was closer to lincoln than yours. i horn in by saying well, my great-grandfather was lincoln's ambassador to china but that does not cut any ice and spring field. host: just doing a little bit of math and up to 1920 there were a lot of people living in springfield who had actually known abraham lincoln. did anyone -- prof. burlingame: up until that time, yes. host: did anyone ever do or history? prof. burlingame: yes. there was quite a lot of oral history done. one of the great contributions to lincoln's studies was an oral history project that was undertaken by his law partner william herndon. as soon as the president died,
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herndon corresponded with an interview people in indiana and illinois and kentucky and created an archive of dozens and scores of interviews which shed a great deal of light on lincoln . then in subsequent years newspaper interviewers and early biographers would come and interview people for -- who knew lincoln. those interviews are externally valuable and they can be found in newspapers and they can be found in the field notes and research notes of the early biographers. i was astounded when i began my research on abraham lincoln, a life to go to brown the university in providence, rhode island, which is an excellent collection because john hay, his assistant personal secretary went to brown. and i discovered a whole cache of valuable interviews that had been conducted by haye, and also
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by his fellow secretary in the white house. all kinds of new information. yes, there is a treasure trove or reminisces about lincoln. they have to be treated with caution because people's memories sometimes play tricks on them. as mark twain once said, the older i get the more vividly i remember things that never happened. but if you use reminiscences in conjunction with contemporary documents, they can be extremely revealed to it i have made good use of those. host: michael burlingame. the abraham lincoln association book prize in 1996. his book won the 2010 lincoln prize. what, about 1000 pages you have a netbook? prof. burlingame: no, it is 2000 pages. it weighs nine pounds. don't drop it on your foot. because it is so big and clumsy, i recommend, the 200 p0 pages are
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awkward to hold i recommend that people get it on kindle or ipad. they should be warned that as soon as you download abraham lincoln a life, your device becomes much heavier. host: craig is calling from pennsylvania. caller: hello, professor. my question has to do with the reenactors carrying the coffins. i assume that they were representing the veteran reserve corps. i understand they were the old ones who carry the coffin of president lincoln from -- all the way from washington to spring field. in springfield and number one, can you tell me the relationship between the so-called pallbearers and the veteran reserve corps. and secondly, my understanding the veteran reserve corps actually received a medal of honor for their honorary duty in guarding and escorting the body of president lincoln.
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prof. burlingame: the veteran reserve corps was in charge and did perform the functions that you mentioned. i did not know the story about the medal of honor. that is quite remarkable. that is a remarkable fact. i'm glad to learn it. host: mark, wilmington, delaware. good afternoon. you're on with professor michael burlingame in o ak ridge cemetery, in spring field, illinois. caller: there was a caller earlier who asked about what happened later in the day and i came across a quote in a book i have called "20 days." and it was published -- back in 1965. and it says later that day back in springfield a crowd went to stand in front of the governor's mansion and listen to the band of the st. louis regimen which had come to march and the funeral procession. serenade the governor. it was the first time quick time is it was heard in springfield in three weeks. i thought that was a happy way to end the day.
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prof. burlingame: that is a touching story. thanks. caller: it is a wonderful book. i pulled it off my shelf. i had it in my lap watching the reenactment today. so it has been nice. prof. burlingame: it is a remarkable book. a huge collection of materials. that he compiled has recently been acquired by yale university. it is the repository of one of the best image collections of lincoln in the country. host: we have been live in springfield for several hours on american history tv. if you missed any of it, and want to view it, 10:00 p.m. eastern time, everything we have shown today will re-air on c-span 3 on the weekend. lisa from california, hi, lisa. caller: hello. host: go ahead, ma'am. caller: i wanted to know was it lincoln's -- what was lincoln's favorite food? host: what made you curious
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about that? calllerer: i don't know. they were talking about everything else. but what did he like to eat? host: let's see if michael burlingame knows the answer to that question. prof. burlingame: friend of mine,, his favorite food was chicken fricassee and mashed potatoes and strober shortcake. i've a friend who has written a book on what lincoln liked to eat. he of the sizes that is lincoln 's -- emphasizes that as lincoln 's favorite meal. he is famously not a foodie. his assistant presidential secretary said he was a man who was not much of a connoisseur of, or gourmet. that he ate what was put before him without complaining. he was famous on the circuit when he and his fellow lawyers would travel around from one county seat to the next every fall and spring out here in central illinois, and all the
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other lawyers would grouse about the food but lincoln would not. one day, even his legendary patientsce wore thin. and he said to the house sir with this after dinner beverages coffee. would you please bring me tea? if this is tea would you please bring me coffee? how was that for a gentle way to register a complaint. host: hi mike. caller: hi fellas. you pledge before there were no direct descendents of abraham and lincoln alive. however, nancy hanks, her sister is tom hanks great great great grandmother. i thought that was kind of neat. prof. burlingame: right. so there is a hanks connection to the actor tom hanks to lincoln's mother side. but no descendents of lincoln himself, that his, his son or his children did not have grandchildren who then also had children of their own. host: margaret in des moines.
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hi, margaret. caller: hi. i was wondering if lincoln was buried in spring field illinois, they always told me he was buried in a statue of lincoln in washington d.c. so where was he originally buried? prof. burlingame: he was buried out here but at the lincoln memorial, the lincoln memorial on the mall in washington is a great tribute to him. but he is not buried there. host: go ahead, sir. prof. burlingame: i was going to say, of course it is a magnificent trivia to lincoln, the lincoln memorial. one of the striking things about the lincoln memorial, as you look at the statue, if you face to the right eisai -- whoa -- you see -- whoa! [laughter] host: i take it something went flying. did the wind grab something? prof. burlingame: a tent blew over. everybody ok?
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host: sounds windy out there. prof. burlingame: but anyway, when you go to the lincoln memorial one of the striking things you see is not just a magnificent statue but also the second inaugural address, the text on the right-hand wall and the -- and the gettysburg address is on the left-hand wall. host: if you cannot get through on the phone lines, you can try social media @c-span history is american history's twitter address, or join the conversation on abraham lincoln@facebook.com/c-span history. theresa, lebanon, indiana. caller: hello. host: hi. hello. caller: you had a question from a caller asking about the movement of lincoln's body within his tomb. andf years ago, when i was a very small child, nine or 10 years old, i read a story in look magazine that was an
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interview with an elderly gentleman who had witnessed them opening the top part of president lincoln's coffin to ensure it was indeed him in the coffin. and i remember the story well because it freaked me out terribly because he describes in detail the condition of his skin the condition of his clothing, and everything else. and then he told the story about why he was there. and that story stayed with me forever until a few years ago when i googled the story again and the man passed away in the 1980's or something. but he was very young. they said they were moving him to make sure the tomb was more secure. there had been too many rumors of his body being stolen. and another course and its place. that is what i remember reading from look magazine. prof. burlingame: speaking of childhood exposures to the story of lincoln, i have a good
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friend, a woman who is reading to her four-year-old son a book about lincoln. and the son was quite taken with the story of the assassination. it's a return to his mother and said mommy, do i have the story right? the president went to the theater and he was watching the play, then he got shot while watching the play but he did not die until the next morning. his mother said, that's right. the boy thought about that and thought about that. then he said well, at least you got to see the end of the play. host: up next -- prof. burlingame: this is a true story. host: john in lake city, florida. you are on american history tv. caller: thank you for what you're doing. i have one question and one something to see if you can answer. the first is regarding the mythology behind president lincoln, the great the
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mensa paid her, i do not believe he knew that term and it was a term that was invented by the media -- the great emancipator. secondly, i'm quite concerned and taken aback by how many people call mr. lincoln a tyrant when in reality my studies have shown where he may have stretched the constitution his adversaries did the same but yet, i see authors such as the kennedy brothers continually downgrade him in this manner. i do not understand why that is. prof. burlingame: there are cranks and lunatic fringe in all fields, and i think those folks belong on that lunatic fringe. one of the striking thing about lincoln during the civil war is that the suppression of civil liberties during that conflict was much less severe and intense than during the war with france in 1798 when the congress passed
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the alien and sedition acts which tried to crush the jeffersonian republican party. much less repressive than world war i when this sedition and espionage acts were passed witchcraft down very severely-- which crackdown very severely on all forms of dissent. world war ii when 120,000 japanese americans were incarcerated with no trial, no due process and the like. the striking thing about the civil war is how much there was suppression -- was not how how much the suppression of civil liberties, but how little. especially considering how it was a very serious domestic, civil war were seven times was much more prominent than it was in world war i or world war ii. the main complain about lincoln 's civil liberties is that he suspended the privilege of the write of habeas corpus but the constitution says the privilege may be suspended in times of domestic rebellion or foreign invasion. the original language of that portion of the constitution set the privilege of the writ of
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habeas corpus may not be suspended by the legislature except in times of domestic -- or foreign invasion. they cut out the phrase by the legislature. it was clear the president had that authority. so, lincoln's record on civil liberties is distorted by people's -- people like thomas dilorenzo. host: a minute ago we were showing entrance to the tune with the iron doors at oak ridge of the above. -- to the tomb. was that built for ever have lincoln and what you see when you go through those iron doors? prof. burlingame: i cannot say for certain. i'm not sure was created certain for him. host: you have never been through those doors huh? prof. burlingame: right. host: so are visitors allowed to go? prof. burlingame: no. no the tomb itself is entered from a very different angle.
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and different elevation. host: oh, up the stairs. prof. burlingame: right. host: mike in columbus, ohio. yes, sir. go ahead, professor. prof. burlingame: i was just going to say that the tomb on the monument above the tomb is really quite striking. and one of the controversies that surrounded the burial of president lincoln and the direction of the monument was -- the erection of the monument that mrs. lincoln insisted that the monument be buried by the tomb. she had every right to insist on bearing her where she saw fit. she did not have the right to insist on where the monument would be placed, but she was rather -- a rather imperious woman when she got her way. caller: professor, i wanted to ask you -- was abraham lincoln a good lawyer? did you get along with the news media and has history made him bigger than he really was? prof. burlingame: um, he was a
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good lawyer. he was not a great lawyer but he was a good provincial lawyer. very capable. and what th -- with the news media he got along very well. this was something i discovered. lincoln had his secretaries john hey, two young men in their 20's write for newspapers, right defenses of the administration's annex the nations of the lincoln policies and lincoln appointments. that appeared anonymously in papers in the midwest and new york and missouri and elsewhere. and so he wanted to have the newspapers cover him favorably. one of the techniques that lincoln used to communicate with the public that was very effective was an innovation on his part to write public letters to newspaper editors or two critics. -- to critics.
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they would get reprinted in newspapers of the day. in lieu of press, this, these were techniques that lincoln used to cultivate the press. was he bigger? has history made him bigger than he deserves? i don't think so. as time goes by, we have come to appreciate him as a larger and figure than even we appreciate today. host: james tweets. my mother tells me that she has an ancestor that was in lincoln 's from your area are -- funerary honor guard. sources where i can check this out? prof. burlingame: you can go to the abraham lincoln presidential library. the reference librarians would be eager to help you. host: garrtett is calling in from hanscom air force base. where is that? caller: it is between bedford and lexington.
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host: in kentucky? caller: no messages is. thank you for c-span. and professor, thank you for the book. -- no, massachusetts. my question is, since this is about the funeral. i had a question about what was -- would lincoln have done if he were still alive during that time? an additional question, do you have to pay to get into the cemetery? prof. burlingame: no you do not have to pay. on the question of, the question you pose is one that historians have try to answer for many years and that is what would've happened if lincoln had lived? when i was a student in school, chest after the punic war, i would've thought that lincoln would have been crucified by congress the way his successor andrew johnson was. lincoln had called for a mild
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set of peace terms during the war. december 1863, basically saying if you lay down your arms and except the evolution of slavery there will not be any punishment except for the highest ranking members of the confederate military and civilian government. then andrew johnson tried to implement a plan like that and congress objected vigorously and impeached him and he came within one vote of being removed from office. the argument that was prevalent when i was a student many years ago was that that is just what would've happened to lincoln. most historians do not agree with that now. because they say that what lincoln was doing in december of 1863 was to encourage southerners to throw in the towel, to surrender. they had suffered grievous defeats at gettysburg, vicksburg, fort hudson chattanooga. no reasonable southerner could believe they were going to win the war on the ground, but if they were offered general instead of specific peace terms,
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they would turn the tall. that motive no longer existed once robert e lee surrender. two days later on april 11 1855, lincoln gave a speech in which he called for a new set of peace terms. one of those terms was that black people would be allowed to vote for the first time publicly acknowledged that he supported black suffrage, at least for the veterans of the union army and for the veyry intelligent, by which we assume he meant literate. frederick douglass who was in the audience heard the president give that speech and he said that he and his fellow abolitionists were somewhat disappointed by the limited scope of lincoln's call for black voting rights. but frederick douglass said later, i should have known and we should've known that that was a terribly important speech because abraham lincoln learned his statement ship in the school of rail splitting and to split a
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rail, you insert a wedge into the log. then having done that, you drive home the thick edge of the wedge with a giant hammer. we should've known that that is what lincoln was doing that day. and john wilkes booth heard that speech and he knew that that was a really significant speech. and he turned his colleagues and said, that means n word citizenship. by god that is the last speech he is ever going to give and i'm going to run him through. three days later he killed lincoln. not because lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation and not because he supported the 13th amendment abolishing slavery but because he called for black voting rights. i think it is appropriate for us in the 21st century to think of lincoln as a martyr to black civil rights as much as martin luther king. or

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