- Jul 29, 2013
The body of the President Abraham Lincoln rested in this vault from May 4th to December 21st, 1865. It was then moved to another temporary vault that no longer exists today. His body was kept there until another vault was completed in 1874, only to be moved yet again in 1876. Why so many moves? Grave robbers! Body-snatching was a major problem in the 19th-century, mainly because it was so lucrative. Bodies were stolen from cemeteries and sold to hospitals for experimentation, or if the deceased was well known, the body could be held for ransom. Yes, many attempts were made to snatch the body of Abraham Lincoln in the hopes of holding his remains for ransom. One group of criminals managed so far as to saw off the bottom portion of Lincoln’s sarcophagus before being apprehended. Eventually the body of the president was moved once again and buried under 10 feet of cement at Oak Ridge, where it is still located today. The original receiving vault can still be viewed with a little walk through the cemetery, down some steps, and around the bottom side of a hill. It is an interesting site to see, and reflect on the strange journey of the famous president’s remains.