Thursday, April 30, 2015

150 Years Ago: April 30

At 7 a.m. on the morning of April 30, the funeral train arrived in Indianapolis. There the coffin was taken to the Indiana State House in a hearse topped by a silver-gilt eagle. 

The picture below appears on The Abraham Lincoln BlogThe blog's creator, Geoff Elliott explains that it "shows the capitol in the background, wrapped in black mourning cloth and ribbons. A strange structure [appears] at the entrance to the ground . . . neither arch, nor tunnel. Inside it had numerous displays of Lincoln's life." Lincoln, of course, grew up in Indiana. His family moved there in 1816, when Lincoln was seven, and he was an adult when his family moved farther west to Illinois in 1830.

Since Cleveland, rain had been an everyday occurrence for the funeral train, but in Indianapolis the rain was so heavy that the planned procession had to be canceled. Because of the rain, the governor of Indiana, Oliver P. Morgan, did not deliver his oration. Hence, the entire day was devoted to viewing Lincoln's open coffin.

Part II of "1,654 Miles of Mourning," on the blog Adventures in Cemetery Hopping, recounts: "The first mourners were 5,000 children, all members of various Sunday schools. Bringing up the rear were hundreds of African-Americans, clutching copies of the Emancipation Proclamation. By the time those final mourners had paid their respects, an estimated 100,000 people had visited Lincoln's casket."

Late that evening, the funeral train departed Indianapolis for Chicago, a journey of 210 miles.

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