In 1849, Abraham Lincoln decided to leave politics and return to Springfield, Illinois, to practise law. His journey lasted five to six days and began by train, the Great Western Mail, which departed Washington DC on 20/21 March 1849. After disembarking at Cumberland, he travelled by stagecoach over steep mountains to Wheeling, from where he caught a steamboat for the 1,100 miles (1,770 km) trip to St Louis, Missouri, followed by stagecoach travel to Springfield, Illinois. On his return journey in 1861, three weeks before his inauguration on 4 March 1861, Lincoln travelled for twelve days on the Great Western Railway from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington DC. The 1,900-mile (3,058-km) journey took him through Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo, Albany, New York, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Baltimore. This was a ‘good-will’ journey for the president-elect and enabled him to make speeches to millions of Americans in the different cities and towns en route.
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