Though more urbane, Springfield was not necessarily a safer environment for children. "Our city is in an extremely filthy condition," complained a resident. "Backyards, necessaries, ponds with putrid waters, can be seen all about." In 1850 (the year Lincoln's four-year-old son Eddie died), one-half of all Springfield deaths were children under five.
Citizens also believed that Springfield had a serious "boy problem." An 8 p.m. curfew prohibited boys from raiding orchards, exploding firecrackers, beating each other, "making a noise or creating any disturbance," or otherwise engaging in "malicious mischief."
Above: This Christmas advertisement from an 1854 Springfield newspaper gave children a powerful incentive to be "good Boys and Girls."
Below: these are the earliest known photos of the Lincoln boys—-Tad, about age 2; Willie about age 5; Robert, age 15.
The Lincoln boys in 1854. One-year old Tad was too young to attend activities. Four-year-old Willie—- considered the bright and gentle mannered—-shared his father's tastes and talents. Eddie had died four years earlier, leaving a seven-year gap between 11-year-old Robert and Willie. This contributed to the distance that seemed to separate Robert from the rest of the family. He resented his parents' indulgence of his younger brothers. As the oldest, he paid an emotional price for Lincoln's frequent absences from home. More than the others, he absorbed the aristocratic attitudes of his mother's family, and may have felt that his father was "inferior."
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 12:42am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 273289 N 4408982|
|Decimal Degrees||39.80061667, -89.64808333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 48.037', W 89° 38.885'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 48' 2.22" N, 89° 38' 53.10" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 1-99 E Adams St, Springfield IL 62701, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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