Abraham Lincoln and his family moved out of their home on 8th and Jackson on February 8, 1861. They stayed a few days in the Chenery House Hotel. On February 11, 1861, a day before his 52nd birthday, President-elect Lincoln boarded a specially arranged Inaugural Train at the Great Western Depot. Before the train pulled out Lincoln made a few remarks to the crowd in which he summed up his years in Springfield and spoke about the task before him.
Springfield, Illinois, February 11, 1861
My friends - No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe every thing. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me, and remain with you and be every where for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.
Did You Know?
Lincoln insisted on having the 1864 election in the midst of war. "You can not have free government without elections...if the rebellion could force us to forgo a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us." Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois