Getting There from Here

Getting There from Here (HM12JA)

Location: Decatur, IL 62522 Macon County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 50.479', W 88° 57.99'

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The road beside this wayside exhibit is west main street. It was one of the main routes into and out of the City of Decatur all during the time of Lincoln's travels as a lawyer on the Eighth Judicial Circuit, the main system of justice and law for the central part of Illinois. For a number of years, the Circuit covered all or parts of fourteen counties and extended over an area of 440 miles round trip. It was not until the 1850's and the advent of the railroad that Abraham Lincoln's life and travel on the Circuit became much easier. Until that time, Lincoln had to contend with traveling by horseback or by a horse-drawn buggy, often covering only a few miles a day if the weather was bad. Next to the wayside exhibit is the courthouse marker erected in 1921 for the different county courthouses that Lincoln visited when traveling on the Eighth Circuit. It was moved to its present location in the 1980's.

Although Lincoln and his fellow lawyers constantly dealt with the problems of traveling on the Eighth Circuit, there were instances that illustrated the gentle nature of Abraham Lincoln. One such instance occured when Lincoln was riding by a muddy pit and saw a pig struggling to get out. Lincoln looked at the pig and the mud and decided to ride on, not wanting to get his suit muddy. After a short time, however, he turned back, and with much effort, rescued the pig, getting his clean pair of clothes filthy in the process. Lincoln did this good deed because the pig had looked at him as if Lincoln was its last hope. Lincoln wanted to "take the pain out of his own mind."

While traveling on the Circuit, life for Lincoln was fraught with hardships and dangers. Swollen rivers and streams, choking dust, waist-deep mud, and the constant companionship of flies, mosquitoes, bedbugs, and other pests, all contributed to the overall misery often shared by the lawyers having to travel the Circuit.

HM NumberHM12JA
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 6:27am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 331746 N 4411995
Decimal Degrees39.84131667, -88.96650000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 50.479', W 88° 57.99'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 50' 28.74" N, 88° 57' 59.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 800-904 W Main St, Decatur IL 62522, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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