Lincoln's Yarns and Stories
Colonel Alexander K. McClure

Part 10 out of 10

were deposited in their final resting place they were moved many

On May 4, 1865, all that was mortal of Abraham Lincoln was
deposited in the receiving vault at the cemetery, until a tomb
could be built. In 1876 thieves made an unsuccessful attempt to
steal the remains. From the tomb the body of the martyred
President was removed later to the monument.

A flight of iron steps, commencing about fifty yards east of the
vault, ascends in a curved line to the monument, an elevation of
more than fifty feet.

Excavation for this monument commenced September 9, 1869. It is
built of granite, from quarries at Biddeford, Maine. The rough
ashlers were shipped to Quincy, Massachusetts, where they were
dressed and numbered, thence shipped to Springfield. It is 721
feet from east to west, 119 1/2 feet from north to south, and l00
feet high. The total cost is about $230,000 to May 1, 1885. All
the statuary is orange-colored bronze. The whole monument was
designed by Larkin G. Mead; the statuary was modeled in plaster
by him in Florence, Italy, and cast by the Ames Manufacturing
Company, of Chicopee, Massachusetts. A statue of Lincoln and Coat
of Arms were first placed on the monument; the statue was
unveiled and the monument dedicated October 15, 1874. Infantry
and Naval Groups were put on in September, 1877, an Artillery
Group, April 13, 1882, and a Cavalry Group, March 13, 1883.

The principal front of the monument is on the south side, the
statue of Lincoln being on that side of the obelisk, over
Memorial Hall. On the east side are three tablets, upon which are
the letters U. S. A. To the right of that, and beginning with
Virginia, we find the the abbreviations of the original thirteen
States. Next comes Vermont, the first state admitted after the
Union was perfected, the States following in the order they were
admitted, ending with Nebraska on the east, thus forming the
cordon of thirty-seven States composing the United States of
America when the monument was erected. The new States admitted
since the monument was built have been added.

The statue of Lincoln is just above the Coat of Arms of the
United States. The grand climax is indicated by President
Lincoln, with his left hand holding out as a golden scepter the
emancipation Proclamation, while in his right he holds the pen
with which he has just written it. The right hand is resting on
another badge of authority, the American flag, thrown over the
fasces. At the foot of the fasces lies a wreath of laurel, with
which to crown the President as the victor over slavery and

On March 10, 1900, President Lincoln's body was removed to a
temporary vault to permit of alterations to the monument. The
shaft was made twenty feet higher, and other changes were made
costing $100,000.

April 24, 1901. the body was again transferred to the monument
without public ceremony.


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