Learning Lincoln On-line

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



For the "Lincoln in Coles County Virtual Field Trip" Home Page


For the "Lincoln in Coles County Virtual Field Trip Trivia Questions"


See how many questions you can answer about Abe in Coles County.  You can use the Virtual Field Trip Guide in your notebook, or look and listen for answers on the field trip.   Write your answers on a separate piece of paper.  The most answers answered correctly will receive a prize.


1.  When did the Lincolns First Arrive in Coles County?  How many wagons did they have, and how many people were in the group?  Who was in the group? They had three wagons, three families and 13 persons (total) would be in the group, including a small baby and several children.  The journey would take two weeks, and required blazing of the trail to Coles County and finally Macon County (Decatur).  NAMES:  1.) Thomas Lincoln, age 52;  2.) Abraham Lincoln, age 21; 3.) Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, age 41; 4.) Sarah Elizabeth Johnston Hanks, age 22; 5.) Dennis Friend Hanks, age 31; Dennis and Sarah's children--6.) Sarah, 7.) John, 8.) Nancy, 9.) Harriet;  10.) Matilda Johnston Hall, age 20; 11.) Squire Hall, age 25 and their son 12.) John; and 13.) John Davis Johnston, age 19

2.  Where did the three families initially cross into Coles County? They crossed  into Coles County near present-day Westfield, IL.

3.  Where is the Ford (Embarrass River) Crossing where the Lincolns and others crossed over?  They crossed at McCann's Ford where the old bridge is on rte. 130, at the Lake Charleston entrance.

4.  Who were the other two families that came into Illinois with the Thomas Lincolns?  The Halls and the Hanks were the other two families.

5.  Where did the families end up settling after entering into Illinois?  Decatur or Macon County, Illinois, close to the Sangamon River.

6.  Why did the Thomas Lincoln family and others return to Coles County?   The first year ended with a very hard winter in Macon County (near present-day Decatur), and were actually on the way back to Indiana, but stopped and settled in Coles County.

7.  The Shiloh Cemetery has an interesting history.  Who are buried there that was important to Abraham Lincoln?  Abraham's father and step-mother, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln.

8.  Who else was buried in Shiloh Cemetery (near the Thomas Lincoln Farm Historical Site) in 1851, that were not known historically, and do not have gravestones?  Sadly, it was a group of pioneer adults and children from the area around the Goosenest Farm site, who died from the Asian Cholera.

9.  The Old Charleston Cemetery (next to the Coles Fairgrounds) has gravestones marking relatives of Abraham Lincoln.  Who were they, and how were they related to Lincoln?  Lincoln's cousin Dennis Hanks and Elizabeth Hanks (cousin and step-sister of Abraham) and Harriet Chapman, Dennis' daughter (Harriet lived with the Lincolns in Springfield when younger.)

10.  At the Old Charleston Cemetery (next to the Coles Fairgrounds), another person just got a new marker from the Federal Government.  Who was he, and what is his fame in life?  A soldier killed on the courthouse lawn by Copperheads in the riot on the Charleston square?

11.  Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Site is also called another name.  What is that name?  Are the cabins and other structures original to Thomas and Sarah Lincoln?   Goosenest Farm;  the present cabins, barn and other structures were constructed in modern-days, but were built by the WPA in the 1930's--based upon much research and digging for foundations, etc.   The well is the original dug-well.

12.  How many farm sites did Thomas Lincoln own in Coles County?  Thomas and Sarah Lincoln owned four different farms around present-day Lerna.

13.  Abraham Lincoln came to Charleston many times to practice his profession.  What was his profession?  What case trial, originating from the Oakland area brought national attention?  Lincoln was a Springfield lawyer;  the trial was the Matson Slave Trial.

14.  Dr. Rutherford, from Oakland, was an activist in what area of concern?   Rutherford was an active abolitionist--fought slavery.

15.  Dr. Rutherford and a friend got involved in a legal matter involving the case trial from question #13.  What was the friend's name, and what did these two do with the slaves?  Gideon Ashmore was a friend of the slave family;  Ashmore and Rutherford had the slave family jailed in Charleston, for their protection.

16.  Who the name of the defendants (slaves) in this lawsuit?   Who was the plaintiff?  When did this case-trial occur? The Bryant family from Kentucky were the slaves;  Robert Matson from Kentucky (owned land near Oakland, IL); 1847.

17.  Why did Gideon Ashmore and Dr. Rutherford take Mr. Matson to court?  What

 do you think that Abraham Lincoln thought about having to defend the slave-owner

 Matson?  Mr. Matson owned a farm near Oakland, Il, and was bringing the Bryant

 family of slaves into Illinois and working them on the farm.  Gideon Ashmore and

 Dr. Rutherford were abolitionists and were disgusted with Matson breaking the law

 about working slaves in Illinois.  They defended the Bryant's for freedom.

18.  Who was the lawyer for the slave owner?  Springfield lawyer, Abraham Lincoln.

19.  Which side won this case- the slaves or the owner?   Charleston lawyer Usher Linder was the attorney defending the slaves.

20.  What happened to the slaves after the trial ended?  The slaves were freed and later sent to Liberia.

21.  Abraham Lincoln would return to Charleston in 1858 for a special political event.  What was this event?  When and where was it held?  Lincoln-Douglas Debate for the U.S. Senator election;  The Lincoln-Douglas Debates were September 18, 1858, at the Coles County fairgrounds, at the west side of Charleston, Illinois.

22.  Where did he spend the night before before joining a parade entrance into Charleston the next day?  The Essex House Hotel, in Mattoon.

23.  Where did he spend the night after the event, before returning to Charleston?  In the Thomas Marshall House on Jackson St.

24.  Abe Lincoln ran for the U.S. Senate in 1858.  Who won that election?  Stephen Douglas, Democrat.

25.  What did Abraham Lincoln say about "equality of blacks" in his Charleston Debate?  He didn't think there could be equality.

26.  How many people were estimated to be present for the Debate?  10,000-20,000 people.

27.  Was Stephen Douglas' wife present with him during the Debate?  Yes.

28.  How long did each speaker get to talk during the Lincoln-Douglas Debate?  Was the crowd allowed to clap, yell, and laugh at the comments?  Lincoln and Douglas took turns at each debate starting with 60 minutes, then the second speaker 90 minutes, and then the first speaker again for 30 minutes, for a rebuttal.

29.  Did Abraham Lincoln's family ever come with him to visit the Lincolns and other relatives in Charleston?  No.

30.  Dennis Friend Hanks was a popular Lincoln speaker in the late 19th century.  Who was Dennis Hanks?   A second cousin of Abraham and was with him from birth throughout the arrival in Illinois.

31.  What did Dennis Hanks do for living in Charleston?  Hanks was a shoe cobbler and later business man on the square.

32.  Did he ever get to visit President Abraham Lincoln in the White House?  If he did, what was the occasion of the visit? Yes, to get the lives of killed soldiers on the Square from the riot with the Copperheads. They were pardoned.

33.  Why was there a riot on the square during the Civil War?  Who was involved in this riot?  Union soldiers had returned home and had a confrontation with "Copperhead radicals" on the square.  Copperheads were politically friendly with the Confederacy and the issue of slavery.

34.  A Colonel in the Illinois Militia "mustered" the troops in Mattoon in 1861.  What was his name?  What would be his fame in later life?  Col. Ulysses S. Grant; commander of Union forces in the final year of the Civil War; received Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; later elected President

35.  Abraham Lincoln was called the Rail-Splitter candidate when running for President in 1860.  Who went to Chicago and carried rails into the National Convention, and started Abe's nickname tradition?  Dennis and John Hanks.

36.  Did Abraham Lincoln get to see his father in the final months before he died (1851)?  No

37.  Who is Tildy Moore?  How was she related to Abraham Lincoln?  Sarah Bush Lincoln's daughter, and step-sister of Abraham.

38.  When President Abraham Lincoln came to Coles County after becoming President-Elect, where did he go while here, and what did he do?  Abraham went down to Farmington to see his step-mother at Tildy Moore's house before leaving for Washington D.C.; a dinner was held for the President-Elect.

39.  How did the President-Elect get to Charleston for the visit as President-Elect?  Did he have a large group of towns-people or the national press present to report on his visit?  Why?  He came by train secretly because he didn't want security problems.  No press was present.

40.  Was Sarah Bush Lincoln alive when her step-son was assassinated?  What did she think about his future when he was elected President?  Yes.  she had a premonition that he would lose his life in this great office.


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