Abraham Lincoln Birthplace
Historic Resource Study
NPS Logo

Chapter Two:


1. Among the major centennials were the battles of Lexington and Concord (1875), the Declaration of Independence (1876), the British surrender at Yorktown (1881), and the Constitution (1888).

2. The apotheosis of Lincoln was initially a northern phenomenon. Some southerners lamented the likely effects on the South of Lincoln's death, but few expressed regret at their adversary's passing. Later in the century, a general spirit of reconciliation enhanced Lincoln's reputation in the South but resulted in few memorials. A 1952 compilation of eighty-seven major Lincoln statues did not include a single work in a former Confederate state (Oates, Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths, 21-23; F. Lauriston Bullard, Lincoln in Marble and Bronze [New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1952], 8-9).

3. David Donald, Lincoln's Herndon (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948), 167.

4. Roy Basler, The Lincoln Legend: A Study in Changing Conceptions (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1935), 3-5; Donald, 164-68; Oates, Abraham Lincoln. The Man Behind the Myths, 4-5

5. Oates, Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths, 9; Victor Searcher, The Farewell to Lincoln (New York: Abingdon Press, 1965), 51-93; Neely, 121-22.

6. Walt Whitman, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," Leaves of Grass (based on the text of the 9th ed., 1892) (New York: Signet, 1955), 265-71.

7. Donald, 168; Basler, 35-37.

8. Quoted in Donald, 370.

9. Neely, 149; Donald, 370.

10. The book's poor sales resulted as much from an inept, nearly bankrupt publisher as from Herndon's refusal to exclude information that didn't conform with Lincoln's saintly image (Donald, 334-42).

11. Neely, 145-48, 177-78; Donald, 170-83,212-17, 322-34,370-73; Oates, Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths, 6-7.

12. John D. Hicks, The American Nation: A History of the United States from 1865 to the Present 3d ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1955), Appendix, xviii; John A. Garraty, The New Commonwealth, 1877-1890 (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), 1-4, 15.

13. Garraty, 78-83; Louis M. Hacker and Benjamin B. Kendrick, The United States Since 1865 4th ed. (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1949), 157.

14. Garraty, 139; Hacker and Kendrick, 162-64.

15. Sean Dennis Cashman, America in the Gilded Age 2d Ed. (New York: New York University Press, 1988), 15-16; Hicks, 197-99; Garraty, 179,201-3.

16. Quoted in Hacker and Kendrick, 61.

17. Donald, 168; Hacker and Kendrick, 61-64.

18. Robert H. Wiebe, The Search for Order, 1877-1920 (New York: Hill & Wang, 1967), 39.

19. James D. Hart, The Popular Book:A History of America's Literary Taste (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950), 161,201-23.

20. Basler, 45-47.

21. C. A. Weslager, The Log Cabin in America: From Pioneer Days to the Present (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1969), 261-70.

22. Weslager, 288; Oates, With Malice Toward None, 180-85; Thomas, 216.

23. Robert G. Ferris, ed., The Presidents: Historic Places Commemorating the Chief Executives of the United States (Washington, D.C.: 1976), 577; Charles B: Hosmer, Jr., Presence of the Past: A History of the Historic Preservation Movement in the United States Before Williamsburg (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1965), 47-51.

24. Hosmer, 59-60, 66, 81-84.

25. Neely, 309-10; F. Lauriston Bullard, Lincoln In Marble and Bronze (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1952), 58-59.

26. Neely, 114; The National Parks: Index 1991, 31.

27. Bullard, 28-29,40,46,67,79, 144-50.

28. Hosmer, 72-74; The National Parks: Index 1991, 31, 39.

29. Merrill D. Peterson, Lincoln in American Memory (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 55-60.

30. The three Lincoln statues in Washington were standing figures mounted on low pedestals.

30. Bullard, 333-35; Bates Lowry, Building a National Image: Architectural Drawings for the American Democracy, 1 789-1912 (Washington, D.C.: National Building Museum, 1985) 83-85; Norman T. Newton, Design on the Land: The Development of Landscape Architecture (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971), 403-7.

31. Neely, 173.

32. Neely, 173-74; McPherson, 295-96.

33. Neely, 173,284-85.

34. Hays, 128-29. Lincoln himself was vague concerning the location of his birthplace, remembering it was located on Nolin Creek, but not much else.

35. Gross wanted to purchase 110 acres that represented a portion of the original 348.5 acre farm owned by Thomas Lincoln. In 1894, Richard Creal resided on the farm in a two-story log house, erected circa 1860.

36. Both of these efforts, one for George Washington and the other for Andrew Jackson, preserved the residences of these national leaders. Ultimately, the two ladies societies responsible for preserving the properties raised funds to restore the homes by charging admission fees. Because no cabin existed on the Sinking Spring property, it is unclear how Gross intended to follow the example of Mount Vernon or the Hermitage as Pitcaithley suggests. See Dwight T. Pitcaithley, "A Splendid Hoax: The Strange Case of Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace Cabin," paper presented at the 1991 Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians, 3; Hosmer, 51-61,69-72; Hays, 129.

37. Hays, 134-36.

38. Roy Hays's 1948 article "Is the Lincoln Birthplace Cabin Authentic?" thoroughly examined the traditional birth cabin's origins. NPS historian Benjamin H. Davis also examined the cabin's authenticity in three reports: "A Report on the Abraham Lincoln Traditional Birthplace Cabin," May 16, 1948; "Report of Research on the Traditional Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Cabin" February 15, 1949; "Comments on Statements Made by Dr. L. A. Warren Concerning the Traditional Lincoln Birthplace Cabin," October 7, 1950.

39. Davis, "Report of Research on the Traditional Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Cabin," 32-33; at the Nashville and Buffalo expositions, the cabin measured sixteen by eighteen feet (Weslager, 290).

40. In September 1895, Russell Evans, a local Elizabethtown photographer, took pictures of the Lincoln farm and cabin that revealed the improvements Bigham had made upon the property and the cabin itself. Hays, 132; also, Gloria Peterson, Plates I and II. Various affidavits collected by the LFA also dispute the original location of the cabin upon the knoll or closer to the spring. See Davis, "Report of Research on the Traditional Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Cabin," 7-8,13,24,28,30-31.

41. Davis, "Report of Research on the Traditional Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Cabin," 2-3.

42. Davis, "Report of Research on the Traditional Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Cabin," 34-5; Hays, 36-7; Weslager, 290.

43. Hays, 137-38.

44. Hays, 138-39.

45. Hays, 140-44.

46. Hays, 148.

47. Hays, 147-51.

48. Thomason, E19-E22, E24-E25.

49. Bullard, 123-24, 126; Thomason, E24-E25.

50. Thomason, E22.

51. Hays, 155-56; Richard Lloyd Jones, "The Lincoln Birthplace Farm," Collier's Weekly (February 10, 1906): 12-20.

52. Hays, 157-58; Photographs founding. Peterson, Plate VI.

53. Louisville Courier-Journal, August 29, 1905, as quoted in Peterson, 21. Several notable members and committee chairs included: Samuel Clemens, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, William Taft, Henry Watterson, August Belmont, Cardinal Gibbons, Robert J. Collier, Clarence Mackay, and Ida Tarbell.

54. G.Peterson, 31-33.

55. Because the Republican Party did not nominate Lincoln for the presidency until May 1860, the supposed moving of his birth cabin in March 1860 was probably not motivated by veneration for Lincoln.

56. G. Peterson, 14-15,31-33; Hays, 159-61; the affidavits are reproduced in Davis, "A Report on the Abraham Lincoln Traditional Birthplace Cabin," 9-13.

57. Davis, "A Report on the Abraham Lincoln Traditional Birthplace Cabin," 30; G. Peterson, 26-28; Weslager, 291.

58. All information pertaining to the War Department administration of the site is documented in G. Peterson, who conducted primary research with War Department records at the National Archives. The actual deed of gift was conveyed to the War Department on June 19, 1916; Peterson, 15-37, 99. The LFA referred to the farm as the Lincoln Birthplace Memorial, and two pink granite markers incised with this title at one time marked the farm entrance. Under the direction of the War Department, the site was called the Abraham Lincoln National Park; the name was changed in 1939 to the Abraham Lincoln National Historical Park by the National Park Service to distinguish this historic park from natural parks; in 1959, the park nomenclature again was changed to the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site; G. Peterson, 65, 78.

59. G. Peterson, 37-39.

60. G. Peterson, 41-42.

61. G. Peterson, 42-43.

62. John Russell Pope, "Terrace Stairs" and "Block Plan" 1908. Drawings on microfilm, National Park Service, Southeast Regional Office, Atlanta.

63. Two photographs dated July 27, 1913 illustrate the existing conditions prior to the War Department administration. Photographs courtesy of the Filson Chub, Louisville, Kentucky.

64. Ida M. Tarbell describes in In the Footsteps of the Lincolns (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1924) that "You approach the monument by a winding driveway, on each side of which the natural growth of the land has been left.... The landscape gardening," she continues, "simply protects the drive, the staircase, the temple itself from the encroachment of the woods, leaving the natural setting undisturbed" (Tarbell, 95-96). Also, photographs in Warren, facing page 97. There is some question regarding the natural state of the Sinking Spring. In 1926, Warren in Lincoln's Parentage and Childhood illustrates a coursed wall and stone stair leading down to an overgrown spring, with a natural rock ledge. Early documentation related to the spring has not been uncovered. The four granite markers also have not been accurately documented. Warren illustrates two of the short square blocks in a pre-1926 photograph. However, the function or location of the incised tablets has not been determined (Warren, illustrations opposite pages 97 and 144); Undated photographs, c. 1911 Dedication Ceremony, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, Kentucky.

65. G. Peterson, 44,48,50.

66. G. Peterson, 44, 52-54. See also Plates XI, XIII, XV, and XVII. For comparison, 1913 photographs in possession of The Filson Club, Louisville, Kentucky, illustrate the site prior to any plaza construction; also, Warren, photographs facing page 97 depict the informal plaza and the declining health of the Lombardy poplars. "Contour Map of the Lincoln Birthplace Memorial" by the Office of Constructing Quartermaster, Hodgenville, Kentucky, June 30, 1931, is a good site plan illustrating the relationship of all the structures to one another.

67. Two War Department site plans illustrate topography, landscaped and natural vegetation, and built structures. "Contour Map," 1931 and "Reservation Map," Lincoln Farm National Monument, compiled by the Construction Division, Office of the Quartermaster General, March 1932. In addition, photographs illustrate the plaza and parking area as they appeared in 1929 and 1934 (Peterson, Plates XI and XV).

68. G. Peterson, 54.

69. G. Peterson, 63; Photographs from 1932 indicate that none of the poplars remained and one row of hedge had been removed, presumably by the War Department (The Filson Club, Louisville, Kentucky).

70. "Planting Plan, Approach Area, Abraham Lincoln National Park," compiled by Eastern Division, Branch of Plans and Design, National Park Service, January 25, 1935; Peterson, 57-58.

71. G. Peterson, 60-63.

72. G. Peterson, 60-1, 66.

73. G. Peterson, 58, 64,93-94; Davis, "Comments on Statements by Dr. L.A. Warren Concerning the Traditional Lincoln Birthplace Cabin," 1-3.

74. G. Peterson, 76-77.

75. G. Peterson, 44-5.

76. G. Peterson, 50-51.

77. Weslager, 293.

78. Thomason, E26-E27. Many of these Lincoln historic sites and structures associated with the Lincoln Highway are based on conjectural evidence. For example, the Lincoln family resided at the Knob Creek farm, but both the authentic mid-nineteenth century cabin and rusticated tavern/lodge are not originally associated with Lincoln. In addition, much of the original signage is no longer in place due to theft and lack of maintenance.

79. Thomason, E26-E27.

80. Federal Writers' Project, 171-72; Weslager, 294.

81. Weslager, 293; Federal Writers' Project, 379.

82. Taken from interpretive text related in a 1947 letter from Regional Director Elbert Cox to the superintendent of Mamouth Cave.

83. Ibid.

84. Nevin M. Fenneman, Physiography of the Eastern United States (New York: McGraw Hill, 1938), 419-421.

85. See Sarah Allaback, Mission 66 Visitor Centers: The History of a Building Type (Washington DC: GPO, 2000).

<<< Previous <<< Contents >>> Next >>>

Last Updated: 22-Jan-2003