Road Scholar : Home
The Life and Legacy of Abraham Lincoln

Program Number: 8370RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/4/2014 - 5/9/2014; 4/17/2016 - 4/22/2016; 6/5/2016 - 6/10/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/16/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/14/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Price starting at: $935.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

The world-class Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum continues to be praised. Come see and hear the behind-the-scene story of how it developed, along with the opportunity to learn how Lincoln's life and work on the country's frontier in the 1840s and 1850s formed the man and created his legacy. Take part in discussions with Lincoln scholars and visit the sites of pivotal events in his life as you study how Lincoln's early life influenced the issues he addressed as President and Commander-in-Chief.


• Visit the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln delivered his “House Divided” speech and gained experience in politics.
• View the original Mt. Pulaski courtroom on the circuit in which Lincoln practiced law and the courthouse square where he told stories and talked politics.
• Embark on field trips to Lincoln’s homes in New Salem and Springfield, as well as the tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery where he rests.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 3/4 mile at Lincoln's New Salem; standing during some tours; walking up to 4 blocks at a time; and Mt. Pulaski Courthouse entrance has stairs only.

Date Specific Information

5-4-2014, 4-17-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


This program includes speakers and site visits related to Illinois connections with the Civil War including the Illinois Military Museum and Camp Butler National Cemetery (a Civil War training ground and confederate prison), the 29th US Colored Infantry and a Civil War Soldier’s daily experiences.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


This program emphasizes speakers and presentations of everyday women of the period, Mary Lincoln and her contemporaries, women supporting the Civil War effort, the Soldier’s Aid Society and interpretive program of historic figure(s) such as Harriet Tubman.

Coordinated by Lincoln Land Community College.

Springfield (Illinois)

The capital city of Illinois, Springfield welcomes more than 1 million visitors each year, many of whom come to explore the historic sites connected to Abraham Lincoln, such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Lincoln Home and Neighborhood, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, Lincoln Tomb, and Lincoln’s New Salem.

Comfortable hotel in walking distance of downtown Lincoln sites.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Kathryn Harris

Kathryn Harris serves as library services director at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, formerly the Illinois State Historical Library, in Springfield, Ill. She has served on various boards, including the Rolling Prairie Library System, the Illinois Library Association, the Illinois Humanities Council and the Abraham Lincoln Association. She has appeared on stage as “Sadie Delany” in local productions of “Having Our Say” and has portrayed “Elizabeth Keckley” in “The Last of Mrs. Lincoln" in the Union Theatre at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. In addition, she performs as “Harriet Tubman,” Underground Railroad conductor, for school and community groups. A native of Carbondale Illinois, she is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and the University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Urbana.
John Lupton

John Lupton is the executive director and director of history programs for the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission, and is responsible for the historical content of exhibits and publications, as well as solicitation of collections relating to the legal history of Illinois. He previously served as the associate director of "The Papers of Abraham Lincoln" project and was assistant editor for two award-winning publications: “The Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases” and “The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition.” He has a B.A. from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a M.A. from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Charlie Starling

Charlie Starling retired as a site interpreter for Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in 2010, but continues to volunteer at New Salem as his schedule allows. After researching the New Salem period extensively, Charlie developed (and presents) a program on school master Mentor Graham in the school in the Village of New Salem. He has a master’s in history from the University of Illinois, and was a veterinarian for 30 years.
John Squibb

John Squibb is a retired professor of history and Pearson Master Teacher from Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois. Even though he is retired, John still teaches history courses and community education topics every semester. He has a B.A. and M.A. from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
David Blanchette

David Blanchette was in charge of all media coverage for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum since its inception in 1990, and was the deputy director of the museum until May 2013. Today, Dave is the Springfield spokesman for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. He has a degree in journalism from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill., and is a professional photographer who owns his own photography studio.
James Cornelius

A native of Minneapolis, James Cornelius received degrees from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For 10 years, he worked as an editor in New York City, at Doubleday, Random House, and Collier’s Encyclopedia, then for eight years at the University of Illinois Library’s heralded Illinois Historical and Lincoln Collections. In May 2007, he became curator of the Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., the premier repository of Lincoln manuscripts and collection. He has written many books, articles and book reviews about architecture, baseball, literature, American and British history – these days he mainly blogs about Lincoln.
Mary Wheeler

Mary Wheeler has served as a professor of English at Lincoln Land Community College since 1978, and has a B.A. from the University of Illinois and a M.A. from Sangamon State University (now the University of Illinois Springfield). Mary has done extensive research on Mary Lincoln and the Lincoln family for her original play, "Trunks: Four Significant Journeys of Mary Todd Lincoln."
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Hotel
  Springfield, IL 5 nights
 Hilton Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Highlights •HHonors Reward Category: 4 •Striking 30-story tower, located in the historic downtown area of Springfield •Excellent central location, minutes from many popular Springfield attractions •Heated indoor swimming pool and Precor© by Hilton fitness center •Retire to the Pinnacle Club and watch the city lights glimmer from 30 stories high in our Springfield, IL hotel. •Three restaurants and two bars and the only Starbucks in downtown Springfield
  Contact info: 700 East Adams Street
Springfield, IL 62701-1601 USA
phone: 217-789-1530
  Room amenities: Accommodations start with a view of downtown from our king and queen/queen rooms with premium bedding and name brand bath amenities. Work easier with two dual-line phones, an oversized desk and ergonomic leather chair. Stay entertained with the MP3 clock radio, 32-inch flat screen HDTV with expanded cable channels and video games. Other amenities include a safe, digital thermostat, coffeemaker and high-speed Internet access. You must request a refrigerator in the room if it is required as they are limited. You must request an accessible room in advance if it is required and we will check with the hotel on availability as those rooms are limited in number.
  Facility amenities: For Your Comfort and Convenience •Automated Teller (ATM) •Baggage Storage •Barber Shop •Beauty Salon •Clothing Store •Concierge Desk •Elevators •Florist •Gift Shop •Laundry/Valet Service •Lounge •Luggage Hold •Multi-Lingual Staff •Room Service •Safety Deposit Box For Your Fitness and Recreation Convenience •Fitness Room •Pool For Your Business Convenience •Business Center •Fax •Notary Public •Photo Copying Service •Printer
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $119.00 plus tax Additional nights as available by contacting the hotel directly and mention that you are with the Road Scholar group.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $119.00 plus tax Additional nights as available by contacting the hotel directly and mention that you are with the Road Scholar group.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
5 PM at hotel in Springfield, IL. You will be staying at Hilton Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
10:30 AM at hotel in Springfield, IL. You will be staying at Hilton Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Valid photo ID such as driver's license suggested.
  Parking availability:
Free: take a ticket at the garage entrance but disregard it after you check in. From the garage, go to the lobby level to check in at the front desk and get a parking pass. Show this pass to the attendant anytime you exit the garage for free parking.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Springfield, IL
  Nearest city or town:  Springfield, Illinois
  Nearest highway: Interstate N/S I-55 and E/W I-72
  Nearest airport:  Springfield's Capital Airport (SPI)
  From End of Program
  Location: Springfield, IL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

St. Louis, MO


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
BART Transportation
phone: 800-284-2278
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$58, each additional person $48
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 hour 30 minutes 




100 miles


Available 24/7, must make arrangements three (3) days in advance, 217-789-7920 local number. BART will notify you of the pickup time at the airport terminal and estimate the arrival time to accommodations a day or two (2) prior to travel.


St. Louis, MO


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Smart Van
phone: 877-277-6278
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$60, each additional person $35
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 hour and thirty minutes 




100 miles


Hours: 24/7, must make arrangements three (3) days in advance, local number 217-529-4806. You will be contacted with the pickup time and terminal location by Smart Van one-two (1-2) days before travel.


Springfield, IL


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Hilton Springfield Hotel
phone: 217-789-1530
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10-15 minutes 




5 miles


The hotel provides a shuttle to and from the airport and is arranged with the front desk/bell stand. Guests need to call beforehand and tell a front desk/bell stand employee their schedule. The bell stand staff will pick them up in a Hilton van. There is always a bellman at the hotel from 7am to 11pm. Please call them with delays or cancellations to alert the hotel so they don’t send a bellman out to a guest who is not there.


Springfield, IL


From Train Station




Hotel Shuttle
Hilton Springfield Hotel
phone: 217-789-1530
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


5 minutes 




5 blocks


The hotel does provide a shuttle to and from the train station and is arranged with the front desk/bell stand. Guests need to call beforehand and tell a front desk/bell stand employee their schedule. The bell stand staff will pick them up in a Hilton van. There is always a bellman at the hotel from 7am to 11pm. Please call them with delays or cancellations to alert the hotel so they don’t send a bellman out to a guest who is not there.

Driving Directions
  From Interstate 55 to the Hilton Springfield Hotel The Hilton Springfield is located in downtown Springfield, across the street from Prairie Capital Convention Center. From U.S. Interstate Highway 55 South and Interstate Highway 72 use exit 98B for Clearlake Avenue and drive west to 9th Street and turn left. Drive south to Adams Street and turn right. The Hotel is located at 700 East Adams St. on the left side before 7th Street. From Interstate Highway 55 North: Take the 6th Street exit to Monroe Street in downtown Springfield. Turn right (east) and go two blocks to 8th Street and turn left. The Hotel is located at 700 East Adams St. on the left side before 7th Street. The hotel is 30 stories tall and distinctive in design and stands out among downtown buildings. There is a circle drive to pull into the hotel for unloading bags. The parking garage is around the block off of 7th Street or Monroe Street and you can get directions to it from the hotel staff.
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.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival/Orientation
(Sunday, May 4)

Note: At hotel

 Afternoon: Check-in after 4pm.
 Dinner: Meet for get-together in hotel lobby at 5pm followed by dinner in hotel at 5:30pm.
 Evening: Program overview following dinner.
Accommodations: Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lincoln's Early Adult Life and Legal Career
(Monday, May 5)

Note: Day on motorcoach.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel, starts serving at 6:30am.
 Morning: Travel to Lincoln Land Community College for a lecture and overview of Lincoln’s life, his time in Illinois, and the political, social and economic context of Illinois and the United States.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in the small town of Elkhart, Illinois.
 Afternoon: Travel part of the 8th Judicial Circuit that Lincoln travelled. Visit Mt. Pulaski Courthouse and hear a storyteller talk about Lincoln and his time on the circuit. Visit the Lincoln Heritage Museum on the campus of Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois. See and hear about artifacts from their collection rarely on display.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Lecture on "Lincoln and the 8th Judicial Circuit."
Accommodations: Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lincoln Home/Old State Capitol
(Tuesday, May 6)

Note: Walking day in downtown Springfield

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel, starts serving at 6:30am.
 Morning: Walk to the Old State Capitol Historic Site to learn about Lincoln as a lawyer and politician and where he delivered his “House Divided” speech saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand...” These immortal words were spoken in the historic Hall of Representatives. Learn of Lincoln's relationships to Stephen Douglas and Ulysses Grant and their connections with the historic site. See a living history program on Mary Lincoln and her sister Elizabeth Edwards.
 Lunch: Box lunch.
 Afternoon: Walk to First Presbyterian Church and see the Lincoln's pew and affiliation with the church. Visit Lincoln Home National Historic Site and tour his home and neighborhood of 17 years. View the movie, "Journey to Greatness," indoor and outdoor exhibits and the museum store. Free time after the tour.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Lecture on, "Christianizing Lincoln: Historical Memory and Religious Views of Abraham Lincoln."
Accommodations: Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: New Salem State Historic Site/Lincoln's Tomb
(Wednesday, May 7)

Note: Day on motorcoach.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel, starts serving at 6:30am.
 Morning: Travel to Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site and see the movie, "Turning Point," and exhibits. Walk through the village on a guided tour and "go to school" with Mentor Graham.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local small town café.
 Afternoon: Visit Lincoln's Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery to learn about the final resting place of the Lincoln family. Take a short tour of the downtown Springfield sites by bus.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Lecture on "The Election of 1860."
Accommodations: Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library
(Thursday, May 8)

Note: Walking day in downtown Springfield.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel, starts serving at 6:30am.
 Morning: Discover how the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library concept was developed, followed by a self-guided visit to the museum to explore the exhibits and multimedia presentations.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Subway sandwich shop inside the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
 Afternoon: Free time to continue to explore the Presidential Museum and/or view the following: “Pilgrimage,” an exhibition of more than 70 stunning Annie Leibovitz photographs in the Illinois Gallery. See "Lincoln: From History to Hollywood" across the street in Union Station. See the exhibit “Boys in Blue Part 4 of 4: An End and A Beginning” in the Presidential Library OR take a guided tour of the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office at 2:30pm (if not closed for construction).
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Living history program with Harriet Tubman, an Underground Railroad Conductor presented by Kathryn Harris.
Accommodations: Hilton Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lincoln's Legacy/Departure
(Friday, May 9)

Note: At hotel

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel, starts serving at 6:30am.
 Morning: Lecture on "Learning Life by Studying Lincoln" by James M. Cornelius, Ph.D. and Curator, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Program concludes at 10:30am.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Springfield, IL Dana-Thomas House
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
  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
  Executive Mansion
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
  Illinois State Museum
Permanent and changing exhibits tell the story of Illinois’ land, life, people and art. The natural history hall, “Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments,” reveals the exciting changes in Illinois environments over the last 500 million years. Interactive elements, thrilling audio and video effects, life-sized dioramas and thousands of authentic fossils and specimens illustrate the processes that shaped and continue to transform Illinois’ diverse environments. The Museum Store offers a unique shopping experience with a wide selection of high-quality crafts made by juried Illinois artisans, as well as educational toys, scientific games, books and gifts. Visit the Illinois State Museum on the south side of the State Capitol complex. Located at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield, IL 62706. Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:30am-5pm and Sunday: Noon-5pm. The Museum is closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. Phone (217) 782-7386. Admission is free. For additional information, visit
  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
  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.
  Illinois State Military Museum
Preserving the heritage of the Illinois National Guard, the museum is committed to collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the military artifacts associated with the citizen-soldier of Illinois. The exhibit includes rare items such as the artificial leg of Mexican General Santa Anna, a target board shot at by President Lincoln, as well as vehicles, weapons, uniforms, equipment and photographs. The Citizen-Soldier exhibit features the military experiences of famous Illinois soldiers such as Carl Sandburg, Robert McCormick, John A. Logan and Abraham Lincoln. Located at 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. (Camp Lincoln), Springfield, IL. Hours:Tuesday-Saturday, 1-4:30pm. Other times and groups by appointment. Phone (217) 761-3910. Admission: Free. Days Closed: Monday and Sunday. For additional information, visit
  Vachel Lindsay Home
The 1879 birthplace of the native Springfield poet/artist, this house remained Lindsay’s only home until his death there in 1931. The house was built in the late 1840s; an early owner was C.M. Smith, whose wife, Ann, was the sister of Mary Todd Lincoln. Both Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln were frequent visitors. The house was purchased in 1878 by Lindsay’s parents, Dr. Vachel Thomas and Catharine Frazee Lindsay, and remained in the Lindsay family for 80 years. Acquired by the State of Illinois in 1991, the home recently reopened after an extensive, state-funded restoration project. Located at 603 S. 5th St., Springfield, IL 62701. Hours are subject to change. Please call to confirm hours before you visit. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 4pm. Phone (217) 524-0901. Admission: Donations accepted. Days Closed: Monday, Sunday, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Birthday, Presidents' Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, General Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. For additional information, visit
  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
  Route 66
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
  Camp Butler National Cemetery
Camp Butler National Cemetery, once the site of a Union Civil War training camp and Confederate prison, is now a national cemetery for veterans and their dependents. Located NE of Springfield at 5063 Camp Butler Road, Springfield, IL 62707. Hours Office: Monday- Friday, 7:30am-4pm. Gates to cemetery open daily all year until sunset. Phone (217) 492-4070. Admission: Free. For additional information, visit
  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
  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
  Edwards Place
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
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. 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.

Suggested Reading List

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.


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.

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.

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.

Lincoln's New Salem

Author: Benjamin P. Thomas

Description: 166 pages Thomas tells the story of the village where Abraham Lincoln lived from 1831 to 1837. His three-part examination of the village often referred to as Lincoln's "Alma Mater" features the founding and early history of New Salem, Lincoln's impact on the village and its effect on him, and the story of the Lincoln legend and the reconstruction of the town. Thomas argues convincingly that New Salem was the town where Lincoln acquired faith in himself, faith in people. At 22 the future president drifted into town seeking to become a blacksmith. Thomas introduces us to the people who created New Salem and who knew, influenced, and befriended Lincoln. Thomas highlights Lincoln's arrival, his relationships with his neighbors, his important wrestling match with Jack Armstrong, his self-education, his quiet career as an Indian fighter, his experience as a postmaster largely indifferent to postal regulations, his financial woes as a businessman, his loyal friends who often came to his aid, and his election to the legislature. This colorful history closes with a discussion of the Lincoln legend. The truth of the stories is unimportant. What matters is that the growing Lincoln legend prompted the gradual realization that New Salem was not a dismal mire from which President Lincoln had had to extricate himself but was, in fact, an energizing force. This realization led to research and finally to the restoration of New Salem, which began in 1932.

Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln

Author: Douglas Wilson

Description: 383 pages Abraham Lincoln's remarkable emergence from the rural Midwest and his rise to the presidency have been the stuff of romance and legend. Douglas L. Wilson shows us that Lincoln's transformation was not one long triumphal march, but a process that was more than once seriously derailed. There were times, in his journey from storekeeper and mill operator to lawyer and member of the Illinois state legislature, when Lincoln lost his nerve and self-confidence - on at least two occasions he became so despondent as to appear suicidal - and when his acute emotional vulnerabilities were exposed. Focusing on the crucial years between 1831 and 1842, Wilson's skillful analysis of the testimonies and writings of Lincoln's contemporaries reveals the individual behind the legends. We see Lincoln as a boy: not the dutiful son studying by firelight, but the stubborn rebel determined to make something of himself. We see him as a young man: not the ascendant statesman, but the canny local politician who was renowned for his talents in wrestling and storytelling (as well as for his extensive store of off-color jokes). Wilson also reconstructs Lincoln's frequently anguished personal life: his religious skepticism, recurrent bouts of depression, and difficult relationships with women - from Ann Rutledge to Mary Owens to Mary Todd. Meticulously researched and well written, this is a fascinating book that makes us reexamine our ideas about one of the icons of American history.

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 and winner of a Lincoln Prize for his "Lincoln at Cooper Union," Harold Holzer 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.

Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography

Author: Jean H. Baker

Description: 452 pages This definitive biography of Mary Todd Lincoln beautifully conveys her tumultuous life and times. A privileged daughter of the proud clan that founded Lexington, Kentucky, Mary fell into a stormy romance with the raw Illinois attorney Abraham Lincoln. For twenty-five years the Lincolns forged opposing temperaments into a tolerant, loving marriage. Even as the nation suffered secession and civil war, Mary experienced the tragedies of losing a son and then her husband. An insanity trial later orchestrated by her surviving son led to her confinement in an asylum. Mary Todd Lincoln is still often portrayed in one dimension, as the stereotype of the best-hated faults of all women. Here her life is restored for us whole.

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.

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. 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.

Lincoln's Battle with God: A President's Struggle with Faith and What It Meant for America

Author: Stephen Mansfield

Description: Abraham Lincoln is the most beloved of all U.S. presidents. He freed the slaves, gave the world some of its most beautiful phrases, and redefined the meaning of America. He did all of this with wisdom, compassion, and wit. Yet, throughout his life, Lincoln fought with God. In his early years in Illinois, he rejected even the existence of God and became the village atheist. In time, this changed but still he wrestled with the truth of the Bible, preachers, doctrines, the will of God, the providence of God, and then, finally, God’s purposes in the Civil War. Still, on the day he was shot, Lincoln said he longed to go to Jerusalem to walk in the Savior’s steps. What had happened? What was the journey that took Abraham Lincoln from outspoken atheist to a man who yearned to walk in the footsteps of Christ? In this thrilling journey through a largely unknown part of American history, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield tells the richly textured story of Abraham Lincoln’s spiritual life and draws from it a meaning sure to inspire Americans today. 272 pages

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