150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Last Visit To Northeast Ohio
One hundred and fifty years ago, this week, the body of Abraham Lincoln traveled on a funeral train from Washington to its final resting place in Springfield, Illinois. Along the way, the assassinated president's coffin made stops in major U.S cities. ideastream's David C. Barnett has the story of Lincoln’s final visit to Ohio.
The funeral train arrived in Cleveland on April 28, 1865, and the Western Reserve Historical Society's Ed Pershey says that was no accident.
ED PERSHEY: Cleveland had an important role in Lincoln's political life, and the state of Ohio was an important state for him in getting elected to the presidency.
Hershey says among other firsts, Lincoln was the first president to be embalmed, due to scientific advancements in the shipping of soldiers bodies during the Civil War. He says locally mourners braved some bad weather to pay their respects
ED PERSHEY: It was late April, and we learned what late April can be like --- cold, and it was rainy and drizzly. There are photos showing the citizens of Cleveland and surrounding communities, lined up in Public Square, under umbrellas, to see Lincoln's body, because the casket was shown open. It was done outside here in Cleveland --- the only stop along the route where the body was displayed outside.
Over 100,000 people waited to see the President’s body, before it was put back on the train, late that evening, for the next stop in Columbus.