history of the Lincoln Tomb is in a way as
complex as the life of Mr. Lincoln
himself," said ALPLM Executive Director
Rick Beard. "Through historic photos and
artifacts, this exhibit will show in great
detail how this historic site has changed over
Among the artifacts on display:
items, including the mourning sash worn by
tools used during the 1876 attempt to
steal Lincoln's body
photographs from all stages of the tomb's
history, including the original building,
1900 remodeling, 1930 remodeling, and
vandalism in the 1980s and '90s
of famous visitors over the years
The exhibit runs through March 25.
Timeline for Lincoln Tomb
April 14, 1865 -- Abraham and Mary Lincoln
attend Ford's Theatre for a performance of
"Our American Cousin." John Wilkes
Booth shoots Lincoln.
April 15, 1865 -- Abraham Lincoln dies at
7:22 a.m. in Washington, D.C. City of
Springfield, Ill., issues resolution
requesting Lincoln's remains to be buried in
April 17, 1865 -- Mary Lincoln consents to
have her husband be buried in Springfield.
April 24, 1865 -- Committee of nine members
selected to supervise the funeral arrangements
in Springfield appoints a group of 13 to
constitute the Lincoln Monument Association.
Work begun on temporary vault on the Mather
May 11, 1865 -- The group of 13 formally
incorporates as the National Lincoln Monument
May 3, 1865 -- Abraham and Willie Lincoln's
remains arrive in Springfield. The president's
remains are placed on public viewing in the
May 4, 1865 -- At noon, the casket is
closed and placed in a hearse for transport to
Oak Ridge Cemetery. The remains of Abraham
Lincoln and William Wallace Lincoln are placed
in the temporary vault at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
June 1865 -- First formal solicitation for
the National Lincoln Monument Association made
by sending out form letters. All Sabbath
schools across the United States are asked to
take up a collection for the Lincoln Tomb on
the second Sunday of June.
June 5, 1865 -- Mary Lincoln sends letter
to the National Lincoln Monument Association
insisting on building the tomb at Oak Ridge
Cemetery and not the Mather property.
June 14, 1865 -- By a vote of 8-7, the
association agrees to Mrs. Lincoln's wishes.
The city of Springfield donates 6 acres of
land, and work begins on a temporary vault.
Dec. 19-21, 1865 -- Mary Lincoln and Robert
Todd Lincoln are in Springfield to inspect the
temporary vault. Abraham and Willie's remains
are relocated into the new vault. Lincoln's
casket is opened and six of his personal
acquaintances attest to the corpse being that
of Abraham Lincoln. This begins the policy of
maintaining an unbroken chain of identity
until the final burial of Lincoln.
December 1866 -- The National Lincoln
Monument Association raised $75,000 of the
$250,000 needed for construction of the
May 1867 -- The General Assembly of the
state of Illinois passes bill providing
$50,000 toward the construction of the Lincoln
Jan. 2, 1868 -- The National Lincoln
Monument Association, having raised $134,000,
initiates a national design contest. The
winning designer will receive $1,000, and the
total cost of construction may not exceed
Jan. 24, 1868 -- The National Lincoln
Monument Association issues final national
solicitation for construction funds.
Sept. 1-10, 1868 -- The 37 designs
submitted for consideration are on public
display in the State House (now the Old State
Sept. 11, 1868 -- Larkin Mead is selected
as the winner of the design competition. His
design consisted of a granite obelisk with a
bronze figure of Lincoln and four bronze
groupings of the various branches of service.
Sept. 9, 1869 -- Ground broken for the
construction of the Lincoln monument.
March 7, 1871 -- Richard Oglesby visits
William H. Seward in Auburn, N.Y., to extend
invitation to speak at the dedication of the
Lincoln monument. Seward, in poor health,
May 11, 1871 -- Sharon Tyndale, one of the
board members on the National Lincoln Monument
Association, is shot outside his Springfield
house. The crime is never solved.
May 22, 1871 -- Capstone placed on top of
July 15, 1871 -- Thomas "Tad"
Lincoln dies in Chicago.
July 17, 1871 -- Tad Lincoln's remains
returned to Springfield and placed in one of
the crypts in the new tomb.
Sept. 19, 1871 -- Five members of the
National Lincoln Monument Association view
Lincoln's remains as they are moved from the
temporary vault to the monument vault.
Lincoln's body is removed from the wooden
casket and placed in a metallic casket.
Oct. 1, 1871 -- Construction of the Lincoln
monument complete except for the placement of
the bronze statues.
Dec. 8, 1871 -- J. Young Scammon of Chicago
pledges to raise the $13,700 to cast the
bronze infantry group.
March 13, 1872 -- Former New York Gov. E.D.
Morgan pledges to raise the $13,700 for the
bronze naval group.
July 24, 1874 -- The National Lincoln
Monument Association announces that the
dedication of the monument will occur on Oct.
Aug. 18, 1874 -- Springfield citizens raise
$3,000 to cover costs for dedication events.
Oct. 9, 1874 -- Lincoln's body is viewed
again, removed from the metal casket and
placed in a red cedar coffin with a lead
lining. The casket is placed in a white marble
Oct. 10, 1874 -- Ames Foundry in Chicopee,
Mass., completes naval group using bronze from
65 Civil War-era cannons donated by the United
States government. They are ready to begin on
Oct. 15, 1874 -- Formal dedication of the
Lincoln Tomb occurs, with President Grant in
attendance. Larkin Mead's bronze statue of
Lincoln the Emancipator is unveiled.
top of second column]
Oct. 28, 1874 -- The National
Lincoln Monument Association hires John
Carroll Power as first custodian of the
Oct. 29, 1874 -- The Lincoln Tomb is opened
to the public.
Fall 1875 -- Naval grouping completed and
exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in
Philadelphia. This bronze does not reach
Springfield until March 1877.
July 3, 1876 -- Date set for first attempt
to steal Lincoln's body. News of plot leaks
out and it is never carried out.
Nov. 7, 1876 -- Second plot to steal
Lincoln's body occurs. Robbers break into the
vault before being scared away by authorities.
Nov. 15, 1876 -- Lincoln's casket removed
from white marble sarcophagus and moved about
in the interior spaces of the monument for
Nov. 20, 1876 -- A special grand jury in
Springfield charges Terrence Mullins and Jack
Hughes with attempted larceny and conspiracy.
Grave robbing was not a felony offense in
Illinois at the time, making it necessary to
file charges that would place Mullins and
Hughes in the state penitentiary.
May 17, 1877 -- The board approves money to
begin work on the bronze artillery group.
May 21, 1877 -- Illinois General Assembly
approves $27,000 for completion of bronze
statues at the Lincoln monument.
May 30, 1877 -- Trial against Terrence
Mullins and Jack Hughes begins in Sangamon
County Court in Springfield. Robert Todd
Lincoln agrees to pay to keep witnesses in
Springfield to testify against Mullins and
Hughes at the request of the United State
June 2, 1877 -- Mullins and Hughes are
found guilty and sentenced to serve a one-year
term at Joliet State Penitentiary.
June 26, 1877 -- Robert Todd Lincoln sends
request to James J. Brooks, chief of the
Secret Service, asking for reimbursement of
$643 for covering witness expenses for room
and board during the trial. He is never paid.
September 1877 -- Both infantry and naval
bronzes placed on Lincoln monument.
Nov. 18, 1878 -- Lincoln coffin moved to
secret location near base of the obelisk.
Sept. 12, 1879 -- The board approves money
to begin work on the final bronze cavalry
Feb. 12, 1880 -- The Lincoln Guard of Honor
established to protect Lincoln's remains and
provide commemorative programs.
April 13, 1882 -- The artillery group
placed at the Lincoln Tomb.
July 16, 1882 -- Mary Todd Lincoln dies in
July 19, 1882 -- Mary Todd Lincoln is
placed in a vault of the Lincoln Tomb along
with three of her sons and her husband.
May 16, 1885 -- The National Lincoln
Monument Association reconstitutes itself as
the Lincoln Monument Association and shifts
focus from the fundraising to build the
monument to providing annual maintenance and
daily public operation of the facility.
April 14, 1887 -- Lincoln's coffin is
placed in burial chamber beneath the
sarcophagus. Members of the Lincoln Guard of
Honor view Lincoln's remains.
March 5, 1890 -- Abraham Lincoln II,
nicknamed "Jack," dies in London. He
is the only son of Robert Todd and Mary Harlan
Lincoln and the grandson of President Lincoln.
Robert held the appointment as minister to
Great Britain at the time.
Nov. 8, 1890 -- Remains of Abraham Lincoln
II are placed in a vault at the Lincoln
Feb. 17, 1893 -- First attempt to transfer
ownership of the tomb from the Lincoln
Monument Association to the state of Illinois
Jan. 11, 1894 -- John Carroll Power,
custodian of the Lincoln monument, dies at the
age of 74.
July 9, 1895 -- Ownership of the Lincoln
monument is transferred to the state of
Illinois. The Lincoln Monument Association
ceases to exist.
March 9, 1899 -- Gov. John Tanner asks the
Illinois legislature for $100,000 to rebuild
the Lincoln Tomb.
March 10, 1900 -- Lincoln's coffin is moved
from burial chamber to underground vault
northeast of the tomb.
April 24, 1901 -- Lincoln's coffin is moved
from underground vault to sarcophagus in tomb.
July 1901 -- Lincoln's remains are moved
from sarcophagus to crypt in the tomb.
Sept. 26, 1901 -- Lincoln's remains viewed
for one last time before being placed in steel
and concrete vault.
June 4, 1903 -- President Theodore
Roosevelt spoke briefly at the tomb while in
Springfield to dedicate the state arsenal.
Feb. 12, 1922 -- Gen. John J. Pershing and
Vice President Calvin Coolidge visit the tomb.
July 26, 1926 -- Robert Todd Lincoln dies
at Hildene in Manchester, Vt. Against his wish
to be buried with his father, Mary Harlan
Lincoln buries Robert in Arlington National
May 12, 1930 -- At the request of Gov.
Louis L. Emmerson, $175,000 appropriated to
fix structural problems with the Lincoln Tomb.
May 27, 1930 -- Abraham Lincoln II reburied
in Arlington National Cemetery.
June 17, 1931 -- President Herbert Hoover
is the featured speaker at the rededication of
the Lincoln Tomb.
Oct. 11, 1936 -- Stone from an ancient wall
built by the Roman Emperor Servius Tullius
placed at the tomb and dedicated by Gov. Henry
Horner. According to legend, Tullius -- like
Lincoln -- was a great leader who was
1946 -- First Lincoln Pilgrimage to the
Lincoln Tomb by the Abraham Lincoln Council,
Boy Scouts of America. This is considered the
largest one-day gathering of Scouts in the
United States. It now comprises an entire
weekend of events.
Feb. 10, 2007 -- 60th annual Pilgrimage of
the Veterans of Foreign Wars takes place at
the Lincoln Tomb.
Feb. 12, 2007 -- 73rd annual Pilgrimage to
the Lincoln Tomb by the Springfield American
Legion Post 32 takes place.
(Text from Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
news release received from the Illinois
Office of Communication and Information)