First Congregational Church - Janesville, WI
N 42° 40.818 W 089° 01.576
16T E 333985 N 4727304
Quick Description: On October 2, 1859, Abraham Lincoln worshiped at the First Congregational Church. The site of this event is now at 54 S. Jackson St. in Janesville, WI.
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Date Posted: 10/19/2007 5:34:45 AM
Waymark Code: WM2E8R
Abraham Lincoln had come to Janesville to speak the evening before at the Young America Hall. He was scheduled to take a train the next morning, but was delayed and went with his host, William H Tallman, to First Congregational Church for morning worship.
The Abraham Lincoln's Classroom Library has an amusing story about the incident:
"On Sunday, according to one story Mr. Lincoln missed the early train because his boots had been taken for polishing and not returned. Instead of departing, Mr. Lincoln accompanied his overnight hosts, Mr. and Mrs. William Tallman, to the First Congregational Church. Although Tallmans live in a recently-constructed, italianate, 26-room mansion, they had other guests that night including their young nephew, Lucien Hanks. The Tallmans told Hanks he would have to sleep on the couch, but Mr. Lincoln said: “He’s not a very big fellow and won’t take up much room. Let him sleep with me. I think we’ll get along famously; don’t you?” Mr. Lincoln, however, proved to be a restless sleeper, according to Hanks. Years later, the Madison Democrat reported that Mr. Lincoln “was restless, jerking about violent, the subconscious effect probably of his vigorous speech but an hour or so before. He would hitch up his arms one instant, then shift a long leg the next, – and there simply was no sleep whatever for the martyred boy, who finally slipped out, tiptoed downstairs and soon was safely in the arms of Morpheus.”
The next morning, another young man was dispatched upstairs to wake Mr. Lincoln in time for his train. Mr. Lincoln stood in the room in his blue socks. He mildly complained: “I don’t want to cast any aspersions, but when I went to bed last night I certainly had boots. I am not resentful and will be willing to let the matter drop if I could only can get those boots. Must have ‘em. Can’t possibly leave this way. What ‘ud the people think down home?” Upon getting his boots, Mr. Lincoln went down to breakfast."