Thursday, August 5, 2010

Following Lincoln's Inaugural Trail

This year, 2010, marks the sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 as sixteenth President of the United States. To commemorate this significant moment in American history, Don Pollack, a painter who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Art, has undertaken “The Lincoln Project: Taking Measure Across America.” He is retracing, by bicycle, the 1,600-mile route of Lincoln’s inaugural train trip from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington, D.C., and along the way recording the present-day condition of the landscape.

Yesterday, Pollack was in Hudson, where he took some photographs of our city and added some extra miles to his journey by visiting Olana. He spent the night at The Inn at Hudson, and before he set off again early this morning, innkeeper Dini Lamot took these photographs for Gossips.

You can follow Pollack’s progress as he continues on to Washington--and catch up on where he’s been--on his blog.


  1. I saw him this morning at the intersection of Warren and Worth Ave.
    Who would have known, but for 'Gossips'.

  2. This is amazing. To think the guy was right across the street from me -- on a bike, no less. I could have taken him down to the recently unearthed trestle that Lincoln crossed -- coming and going, so to speak.... Better to have known after the fact than not to have known at all.... Thanks Carole.


  3. Sorry, Peter. Gossips didn't know he was here until he was leaving either. Perhaps it's just as well. Lincoln's train wouldn't have crossed that trestle unless he'd been heading for the Hudson Gasification Works.

    Pollack's visit suggests a new area of investigation for Gossips. In the summer of 1860, Lincoln campaigned heavily throughout the northern states in the run-up to the 1860 election. If time allows, I just might spend some time at the Columbia-Greene library with the microfilm of Hudson newspapers from 150 years ago and report back what they had to say about Lincoln and his chances.

    Lincoln's actual inaugural train trip, I learned this morning, didn't take place until February 1861, but who would cycle from Springfield to Washington in winter?!

  4. If anyone knows of any grant funds or interested publishers, I would love to write a book about this era in Hudson, roughly 1840--1865. It would be the story of the South
    Bay and the building of the railroad... And I would gladly cede work (and the funds) on such a project to our esteemed Gossiper of Rivertown. --peter

  5. David William VoorheesAugust 6, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Furthermore Foundation, which is located in Hudson, provides grants for "nonfiction book publishing about the city; natural and historic resources; art, architecture, and design; cultural history; and civil liberties and other public issues of the day. Our grants apply to writing, research, editing, design, indexing, photography, illustration, and printing and binding." Go to their website to find application materials.