The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.
Free Time Opportunities
| Springfield, IL
1908 Race Riot Self-Guided Tour
A tragic series of events in Springfield's history led to the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. The story of the 1908 Race Riot and its victims is told through a self-guided, eight-marker walking tour, beginning at the corner of Seventh and Jefferson Streets.
Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home. In 1902, local socialite and activist, Susan Lawrence Dana, hired a rising architect from Chicago to remodel her family home. This is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's best prairie houses and contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass and furniture. Located at 301 E. Lawrence, Springfield, IL 62703. Hours are subject to change. Please call (217) 782-6776 to confirm hours before you visit. Wed - Sun. 9am-4pm. Last tour begins at 3:50pm. Visitor Center is handicapped accessible. Gift shop on site. Suggested donation - $5 for adults. For additional information, visit www.dana-thomas.org
The oldest home in Springfield on its original foundation, Edwards Place tells the story of Benjamin and Helen Edwards and their life at the home from 1843 to 1909. The wonderfully preserved Italianate mansion was once a center for social activity in Springfield, Prominent citizens and politicians such as Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were entertained at lavish dinner parties and the grounds played host to many summer picnics and political rallies. Your visit to Edwards Place will include a guided tour through the formal receiving parlor, music room, family dining room and the second floor bedrooms. The home is furnished with wonderful examples of Victorian furniture, including many pieces that belonged to the Edwards family. You will also see the authentic "Lincoln Courting Couch" from the parlor of the Ninian Edwards home where Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd were married. Located at 700 N. 4th St., Springfield, IL 62702. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, tours on the hour between 11am and 2pm. Days Closed: Monday, Sunday, New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. The Springfield Art Association, which owns Edwards Place is open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and The Michael Victor II Art Library and the SAA gallery also are open 10-3pm on Saturday. Phone: (217) 523-2631. Admission: Donation suggested. For additional information, visit http://www.springfieldart.org/EdwardsPlace/tabid/530/Default.aspx
||Elijah Iles House
This is Springfield’s oldest home, built circa 1830s in Greek Revival style by city founder Elijah Iles. The house contains period furnishings and also houses the Springfield Museum with exhibits of local history. Located at 628 South Seventh, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Open Wednesday and Saturday, 12-4 PM. Closed November through March. Days Closed: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, Pulaski Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Phone (217) 492-5929. Admission: Suggested donation - $3.00.
For additional information, visit iles-house.blogspot.com/
Home of the Illinois governor. Seven U.S. Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, have been received here. Three levels are open to the public including four formal parlors; a state dining room; ballroom; four bedrooms, including the Lincoln bedroom; and a library handcrafted from native American Black Walnut. (Mansion closed during official State functions.) Located at 410 E. Jackson Street, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30am-11am & 2-3:30pm. Saturday: 9:30-11am. Phone (217) 782-6450. Days Closed: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Lincoln Birthday, Presidents' Day, Pulaski Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. For additional information, visit visit-springfieldillinois.com/Things-To-Do/Attractions/
||Illinois State Capitol
The first legislative session was held in this state capitol in 1877. The growth of the state had increased the need for more file storage and office space than the Old State Capitol allowed. Today it is the center of state government and houses the offices of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer, as well as the House of Representatives and Senate Chambers. Visitors can watch Illinois politics in action from balcony-level seating when the legislature is in session. (Accessible entrance at east side.) West entrance is currently closed. Located at 301 S 2nd Street, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm; Saturday-Sunday 9am-3:30pm. Phone (217) 782-2099. Days Closed: New Years Day, Presidents' Day, Easter Sun, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Admission Free. For additional information, visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com
||Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center
A woodland and prairie garden with more than five miles of trails lead you on a journey through the Illinois landscape Lincoln would have known. Depending on the season you visit, you could discover springtime dogwoods in full bloom, colorful prairie wildflowers of summer, burnished autumn leaves, or snow-covered maple trees bursting with sap. This great spot to stroll amidst nature is located on the shores of Lake Springfield and was designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen. Be sure to visit the Garden's Nature Center and Split Rail Gift Shop. Located at 2301 E. Lake Dr., Springfield, IL 62712. Hours: Daily: Sunrise-Sunset. Nature Center: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday, 1-4pm. Closed: Call or visit the website for Holiday closings. Phone (217) 529-1111. Admission: Free. For additional information, visit www.lincolnmemorialgarden.org/
||Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
Abraham Lincoln grew to “a man of purpose and destiny” during his six years (1831-37) living and working in New Salem Village. Here, he clerked in a store, enlisted in the Blackhawk War, served as postmaster and deputy surveyor, studied law and was elected legislator. Timber houses, shops, and stores now comprise the reconstructed historic village where history comes to life as costumed interpreters take on the characters of the people who lived and worked here more than 150 years ago. Located 20 miles NW of Springfield at 15588 History Lane, Route 97, Petersburg, IL. Hours: September through April, Wednesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm; May through August, daily 9am to 5pm. Phone: (217) 632-4000. Admission: Donation suggested. Days Closed: New Years Day, MLK Birthday, Lincoln Birthday,
Presidents Day, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.
For additional information, visit www.illinoishistory.gov/hs/new_salem.htm
Get your kicks on Route 66! Thousands of visitors from around the globe travel America's Main Street each year to experience the legend of U.S. Route 66 and to discover the real America. On Illinois Route 66, one of the nation's newest National Scenic Byways, you'll actually travel through the hometown neighborhoods, not around them…including a visit to the heart of Springfield, Illinois, home of two famous Route 66 landmarks, Shea's Gas Station Museum and the Cozy Dog Drive In. Springfield sits in the heart of Illinois' U.S. Route 66 and boasts some of America's favorite Route 66 icons. Mile for mile, you'll find more authentic Route 66 sites and attractions along the road in Illinois, from Chicago to St. Louis, than in any other Route 66 state. For additional information, visit www.visitspringfieldillinois.com/Route-66/
||Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum
The museum features the history and culture and the triumphs/tragedies of African-Americans living in the Springfield and Central Illinois area during the 19th and 20th centuries. Located at 521 E Washington Street, 2nd Floor, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Wednesday & Saturday 10am-4pm or by appointment. Phone: (217) 528-2725. Free admission, donations appreciated. Days Closed: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Presidents' Day, Pulaski Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. For additional information, visit http://spiaahfmuseum.org/
||Union Square Park & Illinois Visitor Center
Union Square Park and the Illinois Visitor Center at Union Station are located directly across the street from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. The Visitor Center provides information to visitors on Springfield area historic sites and attractions and other Illinois tourism opportunities. The park has gardens, walking paths, sculptures of Abraham Lincoln and a sculptured monument to commemorate the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield. Located at 500 E. Madison, Springfield, IL 62701. Hours: Daily 9-5. Hours are subject to change, please call. Union Square Park is open from 8am to 10pm. daily. Phone (217) 557-4588. Days Closed: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. For additional information, visit www.presidentlincoln.org
Suggested Reading List
Abraham Lincoln: A Life: 2 volume set
Author: Michael Burlingame
Description: Pages 2008
In the first multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln to be published in decades, Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame offers a fresh look at the life of one of America's greatest presidents. Incorporating the field notes of earlier biographers, along with decades of research in multiple manuscript archives and long-neglected newspapers, this remarkable work both alters and reinforces current understanding of America's sixteenth president.
Volume 1 covers Lincoln's early childhood, his experiences as a farm boy in Indiana and Illinois, his legal training, and the political ambition that led to a term in Congress in the 1840s. In volume 2, Burlingame examines Lincoln's life during his presidency and the Civil War, narrating in fascinating detail the crisis over Fort Sumter and Lincoln's own battles with relentless office seekers, hostile newspaper editors and incompetent field commanders. Burlingame also offers new interpretations of Lincoln's private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd and the untimely deaths of two sons to disease.
But through it all-his difficult childhood, his contentious political career, a fratricidal war, and tragic personal losses-Lincoln preserved a keen sense of humor and acquired a psychological maturity that proved to be the North's most valuable asset in winning the Civil War.
Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, this landmark publication establishes Burlingame as the most assiduous Lincoln biographer of recent memory and brings Lincoln alive to modern readers as never before.
Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President
Author: Allen C. Guelzo
Description: 461 pages
This major biography of Abraham Lincoln has won the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the annual award given to the best book in the Civil War field. Guelzo's superb work breaks new ground in exploring the role of ideas in Lincoln's life, treating him for the first time as a serious thinker deeply involved in the struggles of nineteenth-century thought.
Author: David Herbert Donald
Description: 714 pages
Winner of the Lincoln Prize, 1996
Regarded as a classic in American history and biography, David Herbert Donald’s Lincoln is a masterly account of how one man’s extraordinary political acumen steered the Union to victory in the Civil War, and of how his soaring rhetoric gave meaning to that agonizing struggle for nationhood and equality. This fully rounded biography of America’s sixteenth President is the product of Donald’s half-century of study of Lincoln and his times. In preparing it, Donald has drawn more extensively than any previous writer on Lincoln’s personal papers and those of his contemporaries, and he has taken full advantage of the voluminous newly discovered records of Lincoln’s legal practice. He presents his findings with the same literary skill and psychological understanding exhibited in his previous biographies, which have received two Pulitzer Prizes. Donald brilliantly traces Lincoln’s rise from humble origins in Kentucky to prominent positions in legal and political circles in Illinois, and then to the pinnacle of the presidency. He shows how, in all these roles, Lincoln repeatedly demonstrated his enormous capacity for growth, which enabled one of the least experienced and most poorly prepared men ever elected to high office to become a giant in the annals of American politics. Much more than a political biography, Donald’s Lincoln reveals the development of the future President’s character and shows how his private life helped to shape his public career. Donald’s biography is written from Lincoln’s point of view. Donald seats us behind the President’s desk, where we read the papers and reports he received and wrote, meet the politicians and generals and ordinary citizens who visited his office, and observe him evaluating the evidence before him and making the decisions that shaped modern America.
Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861
Author: Harold Holzer
Description: 640 pages
One of our most eminent Lincoln scholars, winner of a Lincoln Prize for his "Lincoln at Cooper Union," examines the four months between Lincoln's election and inauguration, when the president-elect made the most important decision of his coming presidency -- there would be no compromise on slavery or secession of the slaveholding states, even at the cost of civil war.
Abraham Lincoln first demonstrated his determination and leadership in the Great Secession Winter -- the four months between his election in November 1860 and his inauguration in March 1861 -- when he rejected compromises urged on him by Republicans and Democrats, Northerners and Southerners, that might have preserved the Union a little longer but would have enshrined slavery for generations. Though Lincoln has been criticized by many historians for failing to appreciate the severity of the secession crisis that greeted his victory, Harold Holzer shows that the president-elect waged a shrewd and complex campaign to prevent the expansion of slavery while vainly trying to limit secession to a few Deep South states.
During this most dangerous White House transition in American history, the country had two presidents: one powerless (the president-elect, possessing no constitutional authority), the other paralyzed (the incumbent who refused to act). Through limited, brilliantly timed and crafted public statements, determined private letters, tough political pressure, and personal persuasion, Lincoln guaranteed the integrity of the American political process of majority rule, sounded the death knell of slavery, and transformed not only his own image but that of the presidency, even while making inevitable the war that would be necessary to make these achievements permanent.
This is the first book to concentrate on Lincoln's public stance and private agony during these months and on the momentous consequences when he first demonstrated his determination and leadership.
Mrs. Lincoln: A Life
Author: Catherine Clinton
Description: Pages 432
Mary Lincoln's story is inextricably tied with the story of America and with her husband's presidency, yet her life is an extraordinary chronicle on its own. Born into an aristocratic Kentucky family, she was an educated, well-connected Southern daughter and when she married a Springfield lawyer she became a Northern wife—an experience mirrored by thousands of her countrywomen. The Lincolns endured many personal setbacks—including the death of a child and defeats in two U.S. Senate races—along the road to the White House. Mrs. Lincoln herself suffered scorching press attacks, but remained faithful to the Union and her wartime husband.
She was also the first presidential wife known as the "First Lady," and it was in this role that she gained her lasting fame. The assassination of her husband haunted her for the rest of her life. Her disintegrating downward spiral resulted in a brief but traumatizing involuntary incarceration in an asylum and self-exile in Europe during her later years. One of the most tragic and mysterious of nineteenth-century figures, Mary Lincoln and her story symbolize the pain and loss of Civil War America.
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin
Description: 916 pages
Since the movie Lincoln is loosely based on her book you may want to read this one. Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.
On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.
Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.
It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.
We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.
The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
Author: Eric Foner
Description: 448 pages
Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize, and the Lincoln Prize: from a master historian, the story of Lincoln's—and the nation's—transformation through the crucible of slavery and emancipation.
In this landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us the definitive history of Lincoln and the end of slavery in America. Foner begins with Lincoln's youth in Indiana and Illinois and follows the trajectory of his career across an increasingly tense and shifting political terrain from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Although “naturally anti-slavery” for as long as he can remember, Lincoln scrupulously holds to the position that the Constitution protects the institution in the original slave states. But the political landscape is transformed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act makes the expansion of slavery a national issue.
A man of considered words and deliberate actions, Lincoln navigates the dynamic politics deftly, taking measured steps, often along a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party. Lincoln rises to leadership in the new Republican Party by calibrating his politics to the broadest possible antislavery coalition. As president of a divided nation and commander in chief at war, displaying a similar compound of pragmatism and principle, Lincoln finally embraces what he calls the Civil War's “fundamental and astounding” result: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery and recognition of blacks as American citizens.
Foner's Lincoln emerges as a leader, one whose greatness lies in his capacity for moral and political growth through real engagement with allies and critics alike. Contains 16 pages black-and-white illustrations and 3 maps.
The Madness of Mary Lincoln
Author: Jason Emerson
Description: 255 pages
In 2005, historian Jason Emerson discovered a steamer trunk formerly owned by Robert Todd Lincoln's lawyer and stowed in an attic for forty years. The trunk contained a rare find: twenty-five letters pertaining to Mary Todd Lincoln's life and insanity case, letters assumed long destroyed by the Lincoln family. Mary wrote twenty of the letters herself, more than half from the insane asylum to which her son Robert had her committed, and many in the months and years after.
Emerson charts Mary Lincoln’s mental illness throughout her life and describes how a predisposition to psychiatric illness and a life of mental and emotional trauma led to her commitment to the asylum. The first to state unequivocally that Mary Lincoln suffered from bipolar disorder, Emerson offers a psychiatric perspective on the insanity case based on consultations with psychiatrist experts.
This book reveals Abraham Lincoln’s understanding of his wife’s mental illness and the degree to which he helped keep her stable. It also traces Mary’s life after her husband’s assassination, including her severe depression and physical ailments, the harsh public criticism she endured, the Old Clothes Scandal and the death of her son Tad.
"The Madness of Mary Lincoln" is the story not only of Mary, but also of Robert. It details how he dealt with his mother’s increasing irrationality and why it embarrassed his Victorian sensibilities; it explains the reasons he had his mother committed, his response to her suicide attempt and her plot to murder him. It also shows why and how he ultimately agreed to her release from the asylum eight months early, and what their relationship was like until Mary’s death.
This historical page-turner provides readers for the first time with the lost letters that historians had been in search of for eighty years.