Commander in Chief & Great Emancipator


Enoch Lewis. Extra schedule for special train, for the accommodation of the President-Elect, to be run from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, on Friday, February 22d, 1861. Altoona, Pennsylvania: McCrum and Dern, 1861. Broadside.

Lincoln’s inaugural journey by train began in Springfield, Illinois, on 11 February 1861. Over the next eleven days, Lincoln’s train covered more than 2,000 miles via eighteen different rail lines, traveling through numerous cities and towns in seven states.  During the trip Lincoln delivered a hundred speeches.  Shown here is the schedule of the special train that took the president-elect from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on 22 February.  It turned out that the Harrisburg stop would be Lincoln’s last public appearance of the trip, his escorts having found out the night before that there was a plot to assassinate him in Baltimore.  After Lincoln’s stop in Harrisburg, he returned to Philadelphia and boarded a train that traveled to Washington through Baltimore under a shroud of secrecy, arriving unannounced in the nation’s capital in the early morning hours of 23 February.  Lincoln’s clandestine arrival elicited ridicule from the Democratic press and caused much embarrassment among his supporters. 

Lincoln Collection   The William Whiting Nolen Collection of Lincolniana.