Posts Tagged ‘Abraham Lincoln’

Lincoln Highway, a lifeline for Illinois

October 7, 2010

Northwest Indiana Times recently published a number of articles on the Lincoln Highway, including “Lincoln Highway, a lifeline for Illinois communities.” It includes mention of the sculpture seen at right, “Lincoln on the Road to Greatness,” which depicts Abraham Lincoln receiving flowers from two girls. The statue, dedicated in 2003, was funded by private donations including 200,000 pennies collected by local students. It is at the intersection of the Lincoln and Dixie highways, which on the opposite corner includes the Arche Memorial Fountain, dedicated decades ago to be a place of rest for weary motorists.

Article details Fraser's Lincoln statue in NJ

January 4, 2010

An article at Inside SU, a news site for Syracuse University, relates the long and interesting story of a statue along the Lincoln Highway. That rendering of Abraham Lincoln along JFK Boulevard in Jersey City was created in 1930 by well-known sculptor James Earl Fraser; his “End of the Trail” portraying an exhausted Indian on a horse was at the time adjacent to the western terminus of the Lincoln Highway in San Francisco.

Lincoln statue photo by Kyle Weaver, from Lincoln Highway Companion.

The article also tells the tale of an identical bronze Lincoln in the courtyard outside Maxwell Hall at Syracuse and how the duplicate came to be.

Lincoln exhibition to open in New York City

July 30, 2009

The New-York Historical Society will open an exhibition, Lincoln and New York, on October 9, 2009. New York of course lays claim to the Eastern Terminus and a few blocks of the cross-country Lincoln Highway. The exhibition will trace the relationship between the man and the city; it will run through March 25, 2010.

NY_Lincoln funeral

The photo above showing Lincoln’s funeral procession also reportedly caught young Teddy Roosevelt at the window of his grandfather Cornelius Roosevelt’s house (the large house on the left). He and his brother Elliot are said to be the boys looking out the second floor window. The house sat on Broadway between 13th and 14th streets; it was replaced by the Roosevelt Building in 1894.

The New-York Historical Society is located at 170 Central Park West between 76th & 77th streets. For more information, visit or call (212) 873-3400.

Bicentennial honors Lincoln Highway namesake

February 18, 2009


The 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth on February 12th has launched numerous events to honor the 16th president of the United States, 1861-65, Lincoln’s name was invoked almost 50 years after his death in naming the Lincoln Highway, and so the bicentennial brought about the marking of the Lincoln Highway’s eastern terminus.

Here’s part of an article announcing the Proclamation of the Lincoln Highway, from the New York Times on September 13, 1913:


Also related to the anniversary,  Craig Harmon of the Lincoln Highway National Museum & Archives reports that the Ukrainian Embassy contacted him about his 2nd annual Lincoln essay contest, specifically regarding “What Abraham Lincoln Means To Me,” an invitation of essays from world leaders. The embassy soon followed up with an essay written and signed by Viktor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine! His essay includes this heartfelt sentiment: “His energy, inspiring faith in triumph of humanism, in vistory of freedom over slavery, as well as his selfless work to achieve his ideals became the model that I try to emulate in my everyday life.”

Below is the wreath laid at the Lincoln Memorial on his birthday by Harmon, reresenting the Lincoln Highway National Museum & Archives.


Portrait credit: Brady National Photographic Art Gallery (Washington, D.C.), photographer. “Abraham Lincoln, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing left.” 1864 January 8. Selected Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress.

New York's Times Square signs Lincoln Highway

February 13, 2009

LHA director for New York Jerry Peppers joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC Commissioner of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan to unveil a Lincoln Highway street sign in Times Square yesterday, the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. It is said to be temporary or at least the first until a larger one can mark the spot as the Eastern Terminus of the coast-to-coast road.


Peppers says the sign is “on a post at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street just a few feet from where I posted the marker in the WQED special. It simply reads Lincoln Highway and is not exactly what we want [a plaque with an explanation], but it is a start.” The New York Times ran the above photo and a short blog entry, including this quote:

“As a wonderful tribute to the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birthday, we have placed a historic marker to celebrate the construction of our nation’s first transcontinental highway,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “It memorializes Times Square’s connection with the route’s storied history, and reminds all of us that New York City remains the gateway to the rest of America.”

It also quoted Peppers, who has worked at bringing this to fruition:

The Lincoln Highway brings together the ‘Main Street Across America’ and the nation’s most famous intersection — Broadway and 42nd Street. It’s particularly important to mark the eastern terminus of the Lincoln Highway, where it will serve as a reminder to millions of New Yorkers and visitors from all across the globe who pass through here of our nation’s history and the City’s connection with the rest of the country’s early highways.

In the 95 years since the establishment of the Lincoln Highway, there has never been a sign or marker at the Eastern Terminus, unlike the Western Terminus which has had various signs over time. The Lincoln Highway’s identity was never strong in urban areas, where streets and street names were already entrenched.

2nd Abraham Lincoln essay contest announced

January 27, 2009

Craig Harmon, director of the Lincoln Highway Museum online site that participated in this week’s inaugural parade, announced his second annual Lincoln & Liberty Global Essay Contest. The 2009 contest happens to coincide with this year’s Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration. Categories for the contest include grade school (K-6), middle school (7-8); high school (9-12), college, middle age (age 18-59),and senior (60+).


Deadline for essay entries is midnight February 9 with the winners announced on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12, following the National Lincoln birthday celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The grand prize winner’s name will be placed on a large Lincoln bust that will serve as a “rotating trophy.” First place winners will receive a commemorative Obama license plate made specially for the Inauguration and a certificate suitable for framing. Certificates will also be issued for second place, third place and honorable mention.

Full contest rules and details are available at or directly here.

Celebration set for Lincoln statue in Jersey CIty

January 7, 2009

Al Pfingstl, NJ LHA director, writes about an annual celebration at the Abraham Lincoln statue located along the Lincoln Highway in Jersey City, as seen in his photo below. This year is special in that it’s the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.

The Lincoln Association of Jersey City is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the memory, preservation, and understanding of Abraham Lincoln and what he stood for. Begun in 1865, it was formally founded in 1867, 2 years after the death of the President and provides a forum to present scholarship concerning the life, career, and legacy of the 16th President of the United States. The Lincoln Association of Jersey City strives to promote fellowship as well as scholarship in the spirit of Lincoln.


On Thursday, February 12, 2009, at Noon at the statue of Lincoln at the entrance of Lincoln Park, Kennedy Boulevard, and Belmont Avenue in Jersey City, First Vice President Guy Catrillo will host the annual monument ceremony. Dr. Jules Ladenheim, a Past President of the Lincoln Association, will deliver one of President Lincoln’s memorable speeches. The ceremony will conclude with a placing of a wreath at the statue.

At 5:30 PM, the Association will host the 144th Annual Dinner at the Casino in the Park, with a featured speaker to be announced. Cost of the dinner is $60 if you reserve a space or $70 at the door.

To reserve a dinner spot or for more information contact or send a check with your name and the names of those attending, and your postal and e-mail addresses to the Secretary of the Lincoln Association, 9120 Columbia Ave., North Bergen NJ 07047.

Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne to close

March 20, 2008

The Lincoln Museum, which has hosted an exhibit on the Lincoln Highway, will close June 30, 2008, after 80 years as a major resource for the study of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. It is operated by Lincoln Financial Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Lincoln Financial Group. The foundation owns one of the most extensive collections of Abraham Lincoln-related items — 230,000 items valued at $20 million — including a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and one of 13 Thirteenth Amendments signed by Abraham Lincoln. Also among the 79 artifacts are a cane he carried and his children’s toys. The collection also includes 350 documents signed by Lincoln, some 18,000 rare books and pamphlets., and 200,000 clippings.


The museum cites declining attendance, averaging 40,000 per year, according to an article in The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne. Priscilla Brown, vice president and chief brand officer for Lincoln Financial Group, said, in the paper’s words, that “the collection’s dispersal to other sites will better match the Lincoln Financial Foundation’s mission for the items, which is to ensure they get maximum exposure and remain accessible to the public…. The museum isn’t being closed as a cost-cutting measure and that it does not reflect any failure of the local museum staff.” The museum has about 20 staff members, most of whom will lose their jobs, and a “substantial” volunteer base.

The Lincoln Museum’s 19th century 5,000 photos and 7,000 prints is one of the most extensive in the world. According to Lincoln Financial, “Through invitation, the Lincoln Foundation will host a national informational session with potential public partners in late March to provide an understanding of the collection items and, in turn, discuss options for increasing visibility.”

An editorial laments the loss to the city, and the foundation’s reasoning that dispersing the collection will allow more people to see the parts in bigger venues:

Fort Wayne has lost out. A huge historical resource is, for all practical purposes, gone.

Oh, people will be able to drive to some other location, somewhere, and see some of the items, and they will be able to repeat the old refrain, “That was once in Fort Wayne….”

One expert told me [that] reactions have ranged from regret to anger to disappointment to shock to disbelief.


The image above, from the museum’s web site, shows a re-creation of Lincoln’s White House office, where visitors can view personal artifacts belonging to Lincoln, official documents, a chair from the Lincoln White House, a Senate copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, a Leland Boker souvenir edition copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, and personal and official letters of President Lincoln.

A second press release explains how Lincoln Financial plans to take a two-pronged approach to make its Lincoln Museum collection more accessible and visible in celebration of the Abraham Lincoln bicentennial in 2009.

Lincoln Memorial: monument was almost a road

February 20, 2008

A detailed and engrossing story in The Washington Post recalls the tumultuous genesis of the Lincoln Memorial, including how the monument that we know was instead almost a road named for the President. It was referred to then as the Lincoln highway, the Lincoln Memorial Highway, or simply Lincoln Way – all years before the Lincoln Highway of this blog was proposed or its association incorporated in 1913. The article is titled, “The Lincoln Conspirator: Illinois Congressman Joe Cannon was determined to stop the Lincoln Memorial from rising on the Mall. He almost succeeded.”

LOC_Lincoln Memorial

Above: An aerial view of the Lincoln Memorial, with Memorial Bridge under construction, c. 1930, courtesy LOC, Images of America: Lantern Slide Collection, from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Frances Loeb Library, Cambridge Mass.

A national monument to honor Lincoln in Washington, D.C., was proposed soon after his assassination, but the idea foundered until 1901 when the Senate Park Commission proposed the current monument as part of a plan to remake the Mall.

Here are excerpts that mention the idea of a highway:

What had most impressed [former congressman James] McCleary during his tour of Europe was the Appian Way, the ancient road in southern Italy built by Roman censor Appius Claudius. “Who has not heard of the Appian Way?” he wrote in the article. “What a fitting memorial to Lincoln would be a noble highway, a splendid boulevard, from the White House to Gettysburg.”

“The Lincoln Way” would include one roadway for automobiles and one for horse-drawn carriages and wagons; plus two electric railway tracks: one for express trains, the other for local trains. Stately rows of trees would border the highway. Down the middle would be a well-kept lawn 40 to 50 feet wide, with beautiful fountains and monuments at intervals along the way. Given “the possibilities of electrical illumination, the beauty of this boulevard when lit up at night may be left to the imagination,” McCleary wrote….

Rep. William Borland, the Missouri congressman who led the highway effort, predicted an easy win for the road. He believed cars would become more popular, though he didn’t drive one himself. Many congressmen found the prospect of obtaining federal dollars for road projects in their own districts tempting. Road supporters, backed by the auto industry, were well-organized. They flooded Congress with telegrams and petitions. Architect Glenn Brown’s campaign in favor of a Greek temple was no match. Everyone knew that a House victory for the Lincoln highway would create a stalemate and indefinitely postpone the creation of any memorial because the Senate wouldn’t agree to the road….

Highway advocates attacked the memorial plan as foreign and not representative of Lincoln, according to the Congressional Record. “There is nothing in this Greek temple . . . that even suggests . . . the character . . . of Abraham Lincoln,” said Rep. Isaac Sherwood of Ohio….

A highway is “nearer to expressing the epoch of American history than any other form of memorial,” said Borland, who emphasized that a road was unanimously endorsed by the Grand Army of the Republic, whose members were Union veterans. The Greek temple is the most hackneyed form of architecture known, he added…

Knowing that aesthetic arguments weren’t likely to sway members, [architect] Brown had prepared a cost estimate for the Lincoln highway, which Rep. Lynden Evans of Illinois used effectively during the debate. “It will cost at least $20 million to build a really distinctive road,” he said, and pointed out that it could be used only by those who could afford a car. “If a trolley line was placed upon it so that the plain people could use it, it would be valuable and useful . . . But it would not be a memorial of Abraham Lincoln.”

There were accusations at the time that road advocates tended to be those who would benefit from that project. Accordingly, one commenter to the article has written, “The ‘Road to Gettysburg’ sounded like the ‘Road to Nowhere’ considering Gettysburg was not a commercial center like, say Philadelphia or NYC. The practical value of a highway can’t have been a totally futuristic concept.” Of course, the Lincoln Highway proposed by Fisher would encounter some of the same arguments as the original Lincoln Way. Washington D.C. leaders would even advocate for Fisher’s coast-to-coast road to bend their way. Only after repeated pleas would the city get an official feeder – from Philadelphia through D.C. to Gettysburg, just as they had sought earlier.

"Faces of Lincoln" at Studebaker Museum till 3/9

February 20, 2008

This month begins a three-year bicentennial celebration of President Lincoln’s birth, with many books and exhibits marking the occasion. In South Bend, Indiana, the Studebaker National Museum (201 S. Chapin Street), in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Society, is featuring The Faces of Lincoln through March 9. The exhibit is comprised of holdings from the Jack Smith and Daniel R. Weinberg Lincoln collections, along with Studebaker National Museum’s President Lincoln Carriage.


The first section of the exhibit looks at the history of photography using some of the best and most well-known images of Lincoln. Part two investigates ways that photographers, printmakers, and cartoonists tried to influence opinion about Lincoln by altering his appearance. Section three challenges viewers to determine what kind of images and symbols the printmakers used to convey their, and the nation’s, feelings toward Lincoln. The Faces of Lincoln exhibit is based on the Indiana Historical Society’s extensive collection and initially traveled the state on the Indiana History Train in October 2004 and 2005.