The Pre-Presidential Years Journey (Journey One)

Your journey begins in front of a full-scale representation of Lincoln’s boyhood home, a log cabin. Enter and discover a teenaged Lincoln reading borrowed books by firelight. Continue your voyage by viewing his life while in Springfield, Illinois, including his courtship with Mary Todd, his home life, his legal and political careers, his law practice, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Finally, end this first journey with the presidential campaign of 1860 by watching multiple video monitors spin out a TV news program analyzing the campaign in which Lincoln won the presidency. This daring and different approach makes the complex four-way presidential race of 1860 understandable to today’s audiences by accurately, and amusingly, translating the issues and strategies.

As you walk out, observe then president-elect Lincoln making his famous and emotional farewell speech before leaving Springfield for Washington, D.C. where he will begin his first term as president. He will not return alive.

The Presidential Years Journey (Journey Two)

Enter a full-scale reproduction of the White House into the “Blue Room” where you will find Mary Lincoln being fitted for a gown by Elizabeth Keckley, her dressmaker. Continue your journey through Lincoln’s life while he dealt with the personal tragedy of the death of his son Willie and the effect on his wife Mary, the human tragedy and sacrifice of the war, the emancipation controversy, the Gettysburg dedication ceremony, and the conclusion of the Civil War.

Finally, end this journey with the night of April 14, 1865, and its aftermath. Pass through a re-creation of Ford’s Theater, where John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, on your way to a nearly full scale re-creation of the Representatives Hall in Springfield’s Old State Capitol where you, too, can pay your last respects as you file past the closed casket of Abraham Lincoln.

As you exit the exhibit, learn how his death triggered a vast emotional response in a country whose people suddenly wanted to "get close" to Lincoln and to "hold on" to the security and leadership he represented. See some of these objects they collected and read their stories.

The Treasures Gallery

Presented By The Louise and Barry Taper Family Foundation

The Treasures Gallery allows visitors to view dozens of items that were part of the Lincoln’s lives. These artifacts form part of an in-depth display that helps put you in touch with the personal lives of the Lincolns.

In the center of the gallery is a large cylindrical wall – the inner sanctum – which houses some of the greatest Lincoln artifacts.