The Children's Lincoln

The Children's Lincoln (HMWQA)

Location: Springfield, IL 62701 Sangamon County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 47.906', W 89° 38.78'

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Neighbor girl Josie Remann (left)was a favorite of Lincoln's. Once, on finding her in tears in front of her house, Lincoln ran all the way to the train station with her trunk on his shoulders because a carriage driver failed to come for it on time. To Lincoln's delight, Josie (right: later married a nephew of Mary Lincoln. Mary gave her dead son Eddie's clothes to Josie's brother, Henry Remann (center). Lincoln sometimes joined Henry and others in games of marbles and ball, and in putting up swinging ropes. Henry corresponded faithfully with his longtime friend Willie Lincoln while Willie lived in the White House.

Children seemed naturally fond of Abraham Lincoln,and he of them. "He had a rare insight into boy nature," related a former neighbor boy. He took uncommon pains to remember their faces and names. He told them whimsical stories. He patiently answered their questions and encouraged their natural curiosity. When he took his boys to the circus he also took neighbor children along. Neighbors recalled seeing troops of children running out to meet Lincoln when he came home for dinner. They would "gambol by his side," hold onto his long legs, and swing from his hands. Often he threw one of the smallest up onto his shoulder an gave the child a ride high above the others. Mischievous boys sometimes rigged a string across the street to knock the had from Lincoln's head as he walked home. When Lincoln stooped to retrieve his had, the young ambushers would jump from their hiding places and merrily mob their hatless neighbor. Lincoln would laugh at the joke and sometimes treat them to cakes and nuts.

Birthday Parties for children were not common in Lincoln's day. That didn't stop Mary, however, from hosting a party in 1859 for Willie's ninth birthday. Mary shared evolving 19th-century attitudes about childhood and instilling proper social manners in children. Birthday parties in this period were formal affairs hosted in affluent homes by highly motivated mothers. "Some 50 or 60 boys and girls attended the gala," Mary reported, "I have come to the conclusion that they are nonsensical affairs." Neighbor boys like Isaac Diller(right) may not have liked the starched shirts and suits that etiquette required.

Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 4:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 273432 N 4408736
Decimal Degrees39.79843333, -89.64633333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 47.906', W 89° 38.78'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 47' 54.36" N, 89° 38' 46.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 300-398 S 7th St, Springfield IL 62701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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