Learning Lincoln On-line

Topic- Virtual Field Trip Through Coles County for Lincoln and Grant Sites

11) Shiloh Cemetery (containing the old Gordon Graveyard)-- Exact Site, and Actual Cemetery

Location: Near entrance to cemetery, east Lincoln Highway, County Road 80.. About 1.5 miles northwest of Lincoln Log Cabin State Park    N  39o 23.247   W 088o 14.201

In Shiloh Cemetery are the graves of Thomas (died 1851) and Sarah Lincoln, father and stepmother of Abraham Lincoln. On January 31, 1861, shortly before assuming the Presidency, Lincoln came here from Springfield to visit his father's grave in company of his stepmother.  

Note:  In 1851, a mass grave was dug and several victims of the Asian cholera were buried in Gordon Graveyard.  Two old cypress trees and several stumps in a circle, mark the area of the mass graves.  These are located in the old section of Shiloh Cemetery, known as Gordon's Cemetery.  A similar series of gravestones from the same disease in 1851 can be found in the Old Charleston Cemetery.  It is noted in a letter from Dennis Hanks to the lawyer Lincoln, that if he would like to come to see his step-mother, his home was healthy, and they wouldn't have to fear the cholera.  It is no wonder that Mary and the boys would not visit Charleston.  Charleston was still suffering pioneer type diseases that all feared.

According to Charles Coleman's book, Abraham Lincoln in Coles County, 1855, Abraham journeyed down to Farmington to visit with his step-mother and then go to his father's gravesite.  Several letters can be read on the LOC Lincoln Papers site to hear of the pleadings of Lincoln's family members for him to visit his father before his passing.  Abraham did get to the gravesite, but his step-mother was too frail to go with him.  The weather was cold, and not fit.  There would not be a real marker for his father until many years later.

Shiloh Cemetery, near Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site

Memorial Marker for all the unmarked buried in "Gordon Graveyard"

Stumps around the cedar tree ring that enclosed the victims graves of 1851

The original Thomas Lincoln marker

The old church.  Actually the wood frame building is inside this brick structure


Two old cedar trees remain guard to the mass grave of Asian cholera victims of 1851



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