The many statues of Honest Abe

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A driving tour of Illinois is fascinating in a number of levels, but particularly for seeing the many depictions of the state’s most famous resident.

Abraham Lincoln may have been born in Ketucky, but he’s found everywhere in Illinois. Honest Abe looms large over the Land of Lincoln.

Here are a handful of the interesting statues that help tell the life story of the 16 president.

State Lawmaker, Vandalia

Long before he helped preserve the Union, Lincoln was a state lawmaker, and before the state capitol moved to Springfield, lawmakers met in Vandalia, located along the National Road. The former state capitol served the state legislature from 1836-1839. Several lawmakers, including Lincoln, successfully led an effort to move the seat of the state government to Springfield. A statue depicts Lincoln sitting across the street from the state house.

Stump Speech
The Stump Speech statue, photographed on Sept. 3, 2015, was erected in 1968. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

The First Speech, Decatur

Lincoln gave his first public speech in downtown Decatur in 1830, an event many historians say marked the start of his political career. Whatever attendees thought of Lincoln’s oratory skills, they certainly had no idea at the time that just witnessed the first speech of a man who would ultimately be remembered as one of the greatest speakers in history. The statue ws erected on October 12, 1968.

Among Friends
The Among Friends statue, pictired on Sept. 2, 2015, was unveiled in 2009. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

The Senate Candidate, Hillsboro

This sculpture, named Among Friends, is one of the more unique Lincoln statues. It depicts Lincoln in September 1858 when he arrived in town while running for Senate after an obviously unfomfortable ride.

Abraham Lincoln at the Illinois State Capitol
A statue of Abraham Lincoln, photographed on Sept. 3, 2015, was dedicated in 1918. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

The Statesman, Springfield

Lincoln never served in the current state capitol, which was built in the 1870s. Lincoln stands tall in front the buildings in a city, region and state he helped shape.

Abraham Lincoln Statue
A statue of Abraham Lincoln outside the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site in Springfield, Ill., as seen on Sept. 3, 2015. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

The Lawyer, Springfield

Most people know Lincoln was a lawyer, and he made a name for himself in Springfield. He practiced law in a downtown building from 1843 until about 1852. A status outside the building depicts his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, helping Honest Abe prepare for the day.

About Todd DeFeo 823 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.