Image Courtesy of Elaine Shemoney Evans
The marker is located at the rest area on I-55, southbound lanes, northeast of Springfield. It is just north of the bridge over the Sangamon River.
Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society
Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, February 12, 1809. He moved with his family to Indiana in 1816 and to Illinois in 1830. His first home in Illinois was eight miles southwest of Decatur. He later moved alone to New Salem and there he operated a general store and served as Postmaster and Deputy County Surveyor. He served as a Representative in the State Legislature, 1834-1842, and in 1837 was a leader in the effort to move the state government from Vandalia to Springfield. Springfield became the capitol in 1839. In 1836 Lincoln was admitted to the bar, and in 1837 he moved to Springfield and began his law practice. He argued cases in a number of circuit courts, especially those in counties in the Eighth Judicial Circuit. He spent much of his public life at the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield. In 1842 he married Mary Todd and in 1844 purchased his home at Eighth and Jackson Streets in Springfield. As a Whig, Lincoln was elected a Representative to the United States Congress in 1846. As a Republican he opposed Stephen A. Douglas for the United States Senate in 1858, and the debates between the candidates made Lincoln nationally prominent though Douglas won the race. Lincoln was elected President of the United States in 1860, and the election of a Republican prompted the southern states to secede from the Union. Lincoln was inaugurated march 4, 1861, and the Civil War began April 12. The original aim of the north was restoration of the Union; after 1862, freeing the slaves became another objective. Lincoln was reelected in 1864. At his second inauguration in 1865 he pled for a conciliatory attitude toward the South. He pursued the war to a successful conclusion, capped by Lee's surrender to Grant on April 9, 1865. Five days later Lincoln was assassinated in Ford's Theatre in Washington. He is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield.
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