Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lincoln Museum, Mark Twain, Carthage Town Hall and Fort Madison of 1808

In the month of August, our Wednesday "Prep Day"(normally used to do laundry, clean, etc.) lined up with our "night off". That means we were not in the nightly play called Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo on any Wednesday night in August. This means that we didn't have to be back into Nauvoo at 6pm as usual. So we took advantage and went farther afield on three different Prep Days. One trip took us to Springfield, Illinois to see the Lincoln Museum. The second trip was to Hannibal, Missouri to visit all things Mark Twain. The third was to the 1808 Fort in Fort Madison! 

The LINCOLN MUSEUM  (1st Wednesday in August)

We spent 4 hours in this huge museum. It's very well done and extremely informative. We took pictures of only part of it.

They had Lincoln's life portrayed in different walk-thru scenes.

Including the political times he lived in.

The store he worked at...

His courtship of Mary Todd. 

One of his campaigns...

and how he never disciplined his kids.

We even posed at the White House. (It was a large museum as you can tell)

They had copies of the actual dresses worn by Mary Todd Lincoln. The following dresses were constructed from pictures of society ladies who were rivals of Mrs. Lincoln and who didn't think she was sophisticated enough for Washington. 

The pictures of each women in the exact dress was below each dress.

There was a huge room showing caracatures of Lincoln. He wasn't popular all the time. 

Most in his cabinet didnnt agree with the Emancipation Declaration freeing the slaves in the northern States. As it turns out, it was a stepping stone kind of law that paved the way for the 13th Ammendment which came later on.

This room focused on the Civil War. You could highlight each picture on a screne below the display and learn more about it. You could have spent hours in here alone. We actually spent almost 4 hours at the museum.

The following pictures show how much Lincoln aged in a short time. We learned that the weight of the 620,000 deaths of Americans (total on both sides) took its toll on Lincoln. 

It showed the Ford Theatre just before the assassination. Booth was a disgruntled actor, famous for his time, who supported slavery and hated Lincoln for his anti-slavery views.

After the funeral, Lincoln's body toured the country on its way to Springfield, Illinois where he was buried. We ran out of time to go to the monument at his grave. 

 It was extremely interesting. There is also a Lincoln Library which has so many artifacts in the vault from that time. They have digitized all the records for people to see. Quite amazing. We're so glad we went. A great Prep-Day. 

HANNIBAL, MISSOURI  (2nd Wednesday in August)

This is Bryce at the Mark Twain Museum. I hope he did't run into anything while posing for a picture! Samuel Clements worked as a co-pilot of a few riverboats early in his life. Later when he was writing newpaper articles and needed a "pen name" he remembered a riverboat term - Mark Twain - and decided to use that as his "name". The term refers to the second or twain mark on the depth gauge to tell how deep the water was up ahead. Cool eh?

Bryce and Mark Twain.  They look alot alike I think! Just imagine Bryce with a mustache and We had alot of fun at this museum. 

Norman Rockwell was chosen to do the art for a special edition of  "The Adventures of Tome Sawyer". On the left is Norman Rockwell's preliminary sketch. The final sketch of the character Tom Sawyer is on the right. 

Another museum in town dedicated this wall to the unsinkable Molly Brown whose childhood was spent in Hannibal before she moved to Leadville. She was very pretty and did alot of good for the underprivileged later in her life. 

Turns out that the characters in Mark Twain's books were based on real people he knew as a kid. So this house just behind Mark Twain's house was where "Huck Finn" lived.

This is Mark Twain's room as a boy. He'd sneek out to do stuff with his friend who was alway in trouble.  This episode is in the book too. Almost all the characters in Tom Sawyer are from Mark Twain's boyhood. 

This was "Becky Thatcher"s house - Tom Sawyer's girlfriend. In real life, this is where the girl who Mark Twain admired lived.  It is right across the street.

The house on the right is where Samuel Clements lived.  

Samuel Clement's father's law office. 

Bryce just had to white wash the fence. 

This is downtown Hannibal. It's such a cute town. It has a great quilt shop that I just had to go in!


This is Rockcliffe mansion. It is in Hannibal and built in 1902. The family lived there for 20 years. At one point, the daughters were all married and the husband had died. The daughter lived next door in the house on the left and so mom moved in there. All she took with her from the "big house" was her clothes, her favorite chair, and the silverware. The rest of the furnishings in the 13,000 square foot mansion were left there in the exact place for the next 40 years!!! Not all the things you see on the tour are original to the house but so many things are. 

Like the Tiffany lamp and beautiful fireplace.

Isn't this an amazing sculpture. 

This was the foyer. It's way bigger than it looks here.

The study.

The bedrooms were lovely. 

This is the "house next door" where the daughter lived. The original house stood on the spot where Rockcliff now stands. The people purchased the house and then had it moved off the spot that had the best view using rollers so they could built Rockcliff Manision on the brow of the cliff. The tour guide was so informative. We talked to him quite a bit afterwards. We found out he'd never been over to Historic Nauvoo so we gave him a brochure and map. I hope he comes over sometime. 

That ended out day in Hannnibal. We learned so much about Mark Twain and some other notables in the area.  It was a great day!

THE COURT HOUSE IN CARTHAGE (4th Wednesday in August)

We went to the Carthage Court house to look around. We'd been to a cool museum called the Kibbe Museum then went out for Mexican and decided to see what was inside the court house and city hall that is still used today. Bryce suspected it was neat inside and he wasn't wrong.  

Ceiling up the center of the stairs.

Look at how fancy this court room is. The chairs were all old style. There was a computer screen up near the bench though.  


This is the inside of the fencing. Indians who attacked the Fort didn't do much damage. Fire was the only real issue that would take a fort down. The fort had large barrels of water standing by to stop any fire from spreading. When this fort was evacuated, the soldiers torched it themselves so it wouldn't be of use to their foes. 

Notice the beds in the barracks are on a slant. That way the soldiers could get in and out easier with all their gear on and it make it uncomfortable enough so they didn't sleep soundly. 

These are the medical tools of the day. Notice the jar of Leeches! 

This "soldier" was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge - the battles, the conditions, the trade, etc. This fort was actually set up as a trading post with the local tribes. It wasn't for "whites" or for profit. They traded at fair prices.  

He fired off a period replica of the firearms of the day - without a ball inside, just the gun powder. 

It was very impressive. 

We also met some people at the Fort who were in the area for a fair that didn't start until the next day. We invited them to go to Nauvoo after they were finished at the Fort. We wanted to give them a Nauvoo Brochure, one of many I keep in my purse, but I'd left it in the car. Bryce quickly went and found it, gave it to them and they were going to drive over right away. 

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