Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb

The Lincoln Tomb is the burial ground of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. Lincoln’s wife, Mary Lincoln, also lies in this tomb as well as three of their sons, Edward, William, and Thomas. The tomb is in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. As a historic site, it is owned and managed by the State of Illinois and was named one of the National Historic Landmarks in 1960.


The tomb lies at the center of the site, measuring 51,000 square meters. It has a rectangular base and is made up of granite. The tomb has a semi-circular entrance that welcomes any visitor. A bronze sculpture of Lincoln’s head is situated in front of the entrance. On each side of the front entrance are stairs that lead to the terrace. At the back, two stairs lead to the terrace as well.


An obelisk with a height of 36 meters rises on top of the tomb. The base of this obelisk is made up of 40 stones, which are cut to depict shields. Thirty-seven of these 40 stones are inscribed with a state’s abbreviation, while the remaining three stones each show the letters U, S, and A. The stones form a strong chain that surrounds and protects the base of the obelisk. Near the base of the obelisk stand four sculptures representing the forces of the Union during the Civil War: the artillery, navy, infantry, and cavalry. Above the entrance and in front of the obelisk stands a statue of Abraham Lincoln. The tomb, along with these sculptures, was designed by the American sculptor Larkin Mead.


Inside the tomb, there is a burial chamber and a rotunda that leads to different corridors. A smaller version of Lincoln’s statue in Washington, D.C., is here. Lincoln and the 15 presidents that served before him are represented by the 16 pilasters that adorn the walls of the rotunda. The corridors’ walls are adorned with eight statues that illustrate the different stages of Lincoln’s life. These statues are complemented by bronze tablets on which are inscribed Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the Farewell Address, and part of the Second Inaugural Address. One of these bronze tablets that line the wall is engraved with a short biography of Lincoln.

Burial Room

The corridors branch off towards the back of the memorial building and into the burial room, which is surrounded by marble walls. Ten feet under the marble floor of this room lies a vault where Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest. A huge granite headstone sits on top of this burial spot, surrounded by flags. One of these flags is the presidential flag, while the rest are flags that represent states where Lincoln’s forebears and Lincoln himself lived. Meanwhile, the south wall contains crypts that house the remains of Mary Lincoln and the children Edward, Willie, and Tad. The eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Above a glass window, an inscription reads, “Now he belongs to the ages.” These words were spoken by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton when Lincoln died the following day after he was shot.