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Willie Lincoln plaque
04-27-2017, 01:19 PM
Post: #1
Willie Lincoln plaque
Many thanks to Laurie for sending this information from The Newsletter of the Friends of Oak Hill Cemetery.

Memorial Plaque for “Willie” Lincoln

"Oak Hill Cemetery is fortunate to have received a gift from Dwayne Hills, a Lincoln history buff. His gift is a stone-mounted plaque in the Carrol mausoleum in memory of the William Wallace Lincoln, second son of Mary and Abraham Lincoln. "Willie's" casket was temporarily placed in the Carrol Family mausoleum in 1862.

The plaque was put in place last fall and during the summer we installed hand rails along the steps from the Corcoran area and near the Carrol mausoleum. These improvements make it easier to visit and understand one of the most iconic historic features of Oak Hill."


[Image: willieplaque.jpg]
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04-27-2017, 01:34 PM
Post: #2
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
Thanks for sharing Roger. I'll have to visit it sometime

Thomas Kearney, Professional Photobomber.
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04-27-2017, 01:37 PM
Post: #3
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
The handrails and repairs to the walkway have been needed for years. I haven't been there recently, but about ten years ago, the pathway was a disaster waiting to trip anyone and everyone (and on unlevel ground to begin with), and there was no way to hold onto something to avoid a fall.

Somewhere there is a photo of the late-Art Loux emerging from the mausoleum ca. 1980s.
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04-27-2017, 01:49 PM
Post: #4
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
(04-27-2017 01:34 PM)Thomas Kearney Wrote:  Thanks for sharing Roger. I'll have to visit it sometime

Thanks, Thomas.

I am afraid the writer of the article forgot about "Little Eddie" as Willie was the Lincolns' third son, not second.
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04-27-2017, 01:59 PM
Post: #5
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
I noticed that the wording on the plaque is difficult to read. Here is the link to the entire newsletter - page 11 is the story of the mausoleum and plaque. Hopefully, you will be able to read the inscription.

http://www.oakhillcemeterydc.org/Fal16LR.pdf

Luckily, the plaque spells the Carroll family name correctly, whereas the article does not. A slight to one of the most influential Maryland families for 250+ years.
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04-27-2017, 02:12 PM
Post: #6
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
The story of Lincoln going to the mausoleum and asking to have the casket opened (more than once) is in some books, but I do not recall ever seeing an actual source for the story. If anyone knows, please post! Thanks.
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04-27-2017, 06:19 PM
Post: #7
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
(04-27-2017 02:12 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  The story of Lincoln going to the mausoleum and asking to have the casket opened (more than once) is in some books, but I do not recall ever seeing an actual source for the story. If anyone knows, please post! Thanks.

Has anyone consulted the cemetery itself? Did they keep such things as logbooks? Memories of former superintendents? Too bad that George Kackley, a wonderful superintendent in the 1970s and 80s isn't around. He would have made an effort to find an answer.
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04-28-2017, 08:50 AM
Post: #8
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
(04-27-2017 06:19 PM)L Verge Wrote:  
(04-27-2017 02:12 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  The story of Lincoln going to the mausoleum and asking to have the casket opened (more than once) is in some books, but I do not recall ever seeing an actual source for the story. If anyone knows, please post! Thanks.

Has anyone consulted the cemetery itself? Did they keep such things as logbooks? Memories of former superintendents? Too bad that George Kackley, a wonderful superintendent in the 1970s and 80s isn't around. He would have made an effort to find an answer.

I notice that the plaque does make reference to Lincoln visiting several times and asking for the crypt and coffin to be opened. Perhaps the donor was asked to write the inscription and borrowed that line from one of the books you mentioned -- or perhaps the cemetery has the documentation?
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04-28-2017, 09:22 AM
Post: #9
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
Laurie, here is what it says in Twenty Days.

"Word soon got about that Mr. Lincoln had been back to the tomb twice to have Willie's coffin opened so that he could look at him again. Dr. Charles Brown had embalmed Willie so perfectly that he did really seem to be only sleeping, and Lincoln could not bear to leave him alone in the cold tomb."

There is no footnote or endnote. I have seen similar wording in a few other books, but I don't ever recall a footnote or an endnote about this. I am just curious if anyone has seen one. I just don't know the original source (if one exists). I am sure it's possible Lincoln did this, but I am unaware regarding where the information comes from.
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04-28-2017, 10:51 AM
Post: #10
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
(04-28-2017 09:22 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Laurie, here is what it says in Twenty Days.

"Word soon got about that Mr. Lincoln had been back to the tomb twice to have Willie's coffin opened so that he could look at him again. Dr. Charles Brown had embalmed Willie so perfectly that he did really seem to be only sleeping, and Lincoln could not bear to leave him alone in the cold tomb."

There is no footnote or endnote. I have seen similar wording in a few other books, but I don't ever recall a footnote or an endnote about this. I am just curious if anyone has seen one. I just don't know the original source (if one exists). I am sure it's possible Lincoln did this, but I am unaware regarding where the information comes from.

I haven't had to deal with new staff at Oak Hill, but let's hope they are history-friendly. Staff has changed since we worked with them on the Frederick Aiken tombstone. I'll find a contact somewhere in that newsletter and broach the subject.
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04-28-2017, 11:24 AM
Post: #11
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
In his book "Father Lincoln," Alan Manning gives "Recollection of Mary Hill Miner, N. W. Miner Papers, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library" as a source for the story of Lincoln's opening the casket.
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04-28-2017, 11:28 AM (This post was last modified: 04-28-2017 11:30 AM by Donna McCreary.)
Post: #12
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
(04-28-2017 10:51 AM)L Verge Wrote:  
(04-28-2017 09:22 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Laurie, here is what it says in Twenty Days.

"Word soon got about that Mr. Lincoln had been back to the tomb twice to have Willie's coffin opened so that he could look at him again. Dr. Charles Brown had embalmed Willie so perfectly that he did really seem to be only sleeping, and Lincoln could not bear to leave him alone in the cold tomb."

There is no footnote or endnote. I have seen similar wording in a few other books, but I don't ever recall a footnote or an endnote about this. I am just curious if anyone has seen one. I just don't know the original source (if one exists). I am sure it's possible Lincoln did this, but I am unaware regarding where the information comes from.

I haven't had to deal with new staff at Oak Hill, but let's hope they are history-friendly. Staff has changed since we worked with them on the Frederick Aiken tombstone. I'll find a contact somewhere in that newsletter and broach the subject.

Every year on July 16, the members of Mary Lincoln's Coterie gather to hold a memorial service to honor Mary's memory at Oak Ridge Cemetery. We have found the new staff there to be extremely helpful and accommodating. I would hope other cemeteries would be just as helpful.
This year, our ceremonies will be held on July 15 since the 16th falls on a Sunday. I invite everyone to join us!
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04-28-2017, 02:20 PM
Post: #13
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
(04-28-2017 11:24 AM)Susan Higginbotham Wrote:  In his book "Father Lincoln," Alan Manning gives "Recollection of Mary Hill Miner, N. W. Miner Papers, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library" as a source for the story of Lincoln's opening the casket.
That's interesting. The Miners were also the source of "Tabby's golden-fork" and Lincoln's last words expressing the desire to visit Jerusalem.
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04-28-2017, 03:05 PM
Post: #14
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
Thanks, Susan and Eva. The Miners rented the home across the street from the Lincolns in Springfield. I wonder how they would know this information about the mausoleum. I especially love the Tabby story, but I have wondered if it's folklore. I think the Miners visited the Lincolns in Washington, so perhaps the information comes from that visit.
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04-28-2017, 07:09 PM
Post: #15
RE: Willie Lincoln plaque
And Mary Miner Hill's recollections were set down in 1923 (at least according to bibliographies; I haven't seen them). Lots of years in which to embellish things . . .
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