It took President Abraham Lincoln eleven days to travel from Springfield, Illinois to attend his 1861 inauguration in Washington, D.C. Even then, there were rumors of an assassination plot.
Local Lincoln scholar, Norm Schmidt, will speak on "Lincoln's Interesting Trip to Washington: 1861" at the Peninsula Library on May 10. Sponsored by the Cuyahoga Valley Civil War Round Table, the 7:30 p.m. lecture is free and the public is welcome.
Many will recognize Schmidt as the person who marches as Uncle Sam in Fairlawn's Fourth of July Parade. Civil War buffs throughout Northeast Ohio know him for his many Lincoln talks, including: "The Religion of Abraham Lincoln," "Lincoln's Assassination," and "Lincoln's Funeral Train." He has been giving talks on Lincoln for 30 years.
Schmidt's slide presentation covers President-Elect Abraham Lincoln's trip to Washington City in February 1861. It was an 11-day trip over many railroad lines which were all independently owned, had different gauges and did not connect physically with each other in the cities on his route.
Walking to the next depot or taking a buggy were the options, Baltimore was going to be a trouble spot for Lincoln. Some changes were made so he would not be injured or killed there.
He made numerous stops in Ohio including Hudson and Ravenna.
Schmidt just finished writing a historical novel, "They Took Our President" and is about to send it to friends with PhD's in history for them to critique and offer their suggestions.