Golden Thread Lincoln's Funeral Train Reproduction

WJC

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WJC

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Posted NPS verbiage said something about never allowing the image out in public circulation out of respect for the President, but frankly I don't find the photo even one percent as disrespectful as shooting him in the head. At least he is shown in a dignified pose, in a proper setting for a deceased President. So much better than the typical Civil War battlefield shot of bloated corpses, often missing body parts. Since I wasn't alive to visit him in the Capitol that day, I'm glad I got my chance later on.

With the body being surrounded by large numbers of armed guards daily at every location, the Capitol was surely going to present the only opportunity for a photographer.

Undoubtedly, the photographer waited until late, when the guards were tired and bored, and the crowds were long gone. All the lights were out on the upper level, and the guards weren't going to look up anyway unless they heard a sound. He had plenty of time to set up his shot. Their boredom and lack of energy improved the picture by keeping them motionless.
Thanks for your response.
I can understand the reluctance to allow a photograph of the dead President: I myself destroyed family photos of my father's aunt in her casket at her service. I, too, felt it was disrespectful... and morbid. However, I understand it was quite a popular thing at one time.
I was having some difficulty placing the location of the bier within the Capitol. Now, thanks to @O' Be Joyful we know that the photo was taken in New York.
Your scenario is probably correct: the photo was probably taken late in the evening. The location in New York might have made access easier than the Capitol dome. And perhaps the guards were not surprised by someone moving about on the upper floor.
Whatever the circumstances, the photo is a fantastic glimpse of Lincoln's funeral that happily survived.
 
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Southern Unionist

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What a great thread and such wonderful pictures!

Thanks for sharing these with the forum.

Thank you! I'd been thinking about this thread for a while, and the second full week for the new forum section seemed like the perfect time and place to do it.

At one point, the owners of the car (http://www.thosetrainpeople.com/) were talking about permanently displaying it somewhere in or around Springfield, Ill., home of the Lincoln Museum and Library, but this has not been worked out. It's currently displayed indoors in a RR museum in Duluth, MN.

Some people attending the Spencer event were slightly disappointed that the car and engine were not seen directly coupled together, but this actually never took place on the original funeral train. The special car was always on the rear of the train, and there were always several cars in between it and whatever locomotive happened to be up front at the time.

Every now and then, the previously discussed tourist train based at New Freedom, PA runs a special train that honors either the Lincoln funeral train or the Gettysburg Address train, both of which passed through Hanover Junction, shown below. I linked this shot from Pinterest, which is why it's slightly out of square. (If I took one like this myself, I wouldn't pick it for posting.)

7142927a5e7de9d7677b842e6728ed4e.jpg


The station / hotel has been cosmetically restored on the outside to its original appearance, and there is a small museum inside. The old line to Gettysburg turned to the left here, and the Lincoln funeral train took the right fork, on its way to Harrisburg. As far as I know, this is the only remaining notable structure that the two train routes had in common.

photograph of the dead President...
...the photo was taken in New York.

Interesting! That explains the light fixtures that don't match anything in the Capitol.

If you look around online for this pic, you're more likely to encounter the "enhanced" version that the NPS doesn't display at all. It's so sharp and detailed that it may better be described as a digital work of art based on a photograph, and that doesn't meet NPS standards for historical authenticity. There's no way the glass plate could have picked up so much detail from that distance, under low light conditions. We're lucky he got anything at all.
 

WJC

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Interesting! That explains the light fixtures that don't match anything in the Capitol.
Thanks for your response.
Yes, the light fixtures seemed at odds with my memories of the Capitol. Although often (certainly in my case) memory and reality don't match, I was pleased to have my suspicions confirmed.
Ron Rietveld Lincoln Photo.jpg


If you look around online for this pic, you're more likely to encounter the "enhanced" version that the NPS doesn't display at all. It's so sharp and detailed that it may better be described as a digital work of art based on a photograph, and that doesn't meet NPS standards for historical authenticity. There's no way the glass plate could have picked up so much detail from that distance, under low light conditions. We're lucky he got anything at all.
Good for NPS!
 
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Mrs. V

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The car had been built as an office car for the President, never used. Detailed records were kept on the car's construction and contents, making accurate reconstruction relatively easy. Amazingly, the original carpet manufacturer was still in business, and they knew exactly what pattern they had supplied for the original project.

View attachment 165215 View attachment 165216 View attachment 165217 View attachment 165218 View attachment 165219 View attachment 165220 View attachment 165221
2 years ago my son and I went to see/ride behind The Leviathin. The Lincoln car was there as well. Very neat to go through it. Kinda wish I'd been in skirts!
 
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This photo shows the capitol in the background, wrapped in black mourning cloth and ribbons. A structure that housed numerous displays of Lincoln's life is visible in the photo. Mourners thought it was unnecessary and distracted from the majesty of the capitol.

lincoln indianapolis.jpg

Source: Historical Indianapolis
 

Southern Unionist

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WJC

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This photo shows the capitol in the background, wrapped in black mourning cloth and ribbons. A structure that housed numerous displays of Lincoln's life is visible in the photo. Mourners thought it was unnecessary and distracted from the majesty of the capitol.

View attachment 165751
Source: Historical Indianapolis
That's the old Indiana State Statehouse in Indianapolis built in 1835 and replaced by the current building on the same site at the corner of West Washington Street and Capitol Avenue in 1887.
 
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e5e82d34c7002920cd42f28754ebb28a--pictures-of-abraham-lincoln-april-.jpg

Pinterest

The Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad locomotive “Nashville” was one of the locomotives used to pull President Abraham Lincoln's funeral train. The Lincoln Special, whose engine had Mr. Lincoln's photograph over the cowcatcher, carried approximately 300 mourners. Willie Lincoln's coffin was also on board.
 
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burnedcar.jpg

Source: Abraham Lincoln's Assasination

This picture was made by Carl Lewis after the fire on March 18, 1911. A fire swept through a portion of a Minnesota community where it was stored. The prairie fire swept through 10 blocks of Columbia Heights, an Anoka County village which adjoined the northeast city limits of Minneapolis.

The following information comes from an article in the February 1, 1996, edition of the Polish-American Journal:

When the military railroad system was disbanded and returned to civilian control, Mr. Lincoln’s extraordinary funeral car was sold for $6,850 to the Union Pacific RR. It was later sold to entrepreneur Franklyn Snow for $2,000. His efforts to use the car as a commercial exhibit in the Midwest met with limited success, so he sold the car to former Soo Line president Thomas Lowry. Lowry restored the Lincoln funeral car and promoted it as the "most sacred relic in the United States."
 

BelleBlackburn

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View attachment 165838
Pinterest

The Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad locomotive “Nashville” was one of the locomotives used to pull President Abraham Lincoln's funeral train. The Lincoln Special, whose engine had Mr. Lincoln's photograph over the cowcatcher, carried approximately 300 mourners. Willie Lincoln's coffin was also on board.


I'm happy to see Nashville had a part in some way.
 

O' Be Joyful

Sergeant Major
I'm slowly learning that each of these stops was so elaborate that it was almost as if Lincoln had a dozen separate funerals. Details for each location are not easy to track down, but the general concept is emerging.

There was also the battle against nature which ensued as the journey to Springfield progressed and not a little controversy that turned into some political opportunism as well. The practice of embalming was very new and still advancing as an "art of preservation."


The strange, sad, and gross saga of Abraham Lincoln’s two-week funeral procession.

Lincoln’s body held up well through the first stops of the funeral train: Baltimore; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Philadelphia. During the 20-hour marathon viewing in Philadelphia, perhaps 150,000 people passed by his coffin after waiting for up to five hours. Lincoln’s old Springfield friend Ozias Hatch, riding on the train as part of the Illinois delegation, noted some facial splotches but found him looking “quite natural.” So did the Philadelphia Inquirer, which observed “a natural, placid, peaceful expression.”

The tide began turning for Lincoln’s corpse after the marathon viewing in Manhattan, hard on the heels of the first one in Philadelphia. In New York City the body was exposed to the air for 23 straight hours—from 1 p.m. on Monday, April 24, to noon the next day. Among the thousands, black and white, who shuffled past the bier, seeking to soak in Lincoln’s face and upper torso, was 17-year-old Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the future sculptor. Having gazed at the president’s flesh, the teenager walked out of City Hall and got back in line, waiting hours more to see the corpse a second time.
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/...s_sent_on_a_two_week_funeral_tour_across.html
 
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“On the morning of Wednesday, April 19, the funeral services were held at the White House. About six hundred persons were admitted to the room, where the body lay as heretofore described, the head resting towards the north. From the entrance door at the northwest end of the room were placed the pall-bearers; next, the representatives of the Army; then the Judiciary; at the corner, the Assistant Secretaries of the Departments. First, on the eastern line, the Governors of the States; next, the Diplomatic Corps; then, the ladies of the Cabinet Ministers; next, the Judges of the Supreme Court; next, in the centre, and in front of the catafalque, stood the new President, Andrew Johnson, and behind him the Cabinet Ministers. The members of the Senate joined their left, the House came next, while the remainder of the space was occupied by various other delegations. In the centre were seated officiating clergy, and the mourners, consisting of the late President’s two sons, his private Secretaries, and the members of his household.”9 There were only seven women in the assemblage – including Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase’s pregnant daughter Kate Sprague.

It was an exhausting and memorable day. Francis Durbin Blakeslee worked as a clerk in the War Department. He stood in line at the White House on Monday and on Tuesday dressed in his army uniform with his War Department colleagues. He wrote in his diary: “At 8 o’clock we all repaired to the office where we put on our uniforms and equipment, and from that time till half past two had to stand in the sun. We then fell in with the funeral procession, and marched up around the Capitol and back. We were just as near dead when we got back as could be.”

Source: Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln (Dr. Francis Durbin Blakeslee), p. 431.
 
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"By April 18, they has issued a chronology for the trip, leaving Washington on April 21 and arriving in Springfield, Illinois on May 3. They proposed “the following regulations” to Stanton:
  1. That the time of the departure and arrival be observed as closely as possible.
  2. That material detentions at way points be guarded against as much as practicable, so as not to increase the speed of trains.
  3. That a pilot engine be kept ten minutes in advance of the train.
  4. That the special train, in all cases, have the right of road, and that all other trains be kept out of its way.
  5. That the several railroad companies provide a sufficient number of coaches for the comfortable accommodation of the escort, and a special car for the remains; and that all these, together with the engines, be appropriately draped in mourning.
  6. That where the running time of any train extends beyond or commences at midnight, not less than two sleeping-cars be added, and a greater number if the road can command them, sufficient for the accommodation of the escort.
  7. That two officers of the United States Military Railway Service be detailed by you, and despatched at once over the route to confer with the several railway officers, and make all necessary preparations for carrying out these arrangements promptly and satisfactorily.”
Source: C. Power, Abraham Lincoln: His Great Funeral Cortege, from Washington City to Springfield, Illinois with a History and Description of the National Lincoln Monument (Report of Messrs. Brough and Garrett to Secretary Stanton, April 18, 1865), p. 28.
 
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