Historical Markers
Abraham Lincoln (Harrisburg) Historical Marker
Mouse over for marker text

Abraham Lincoln (Harrisburg)

Hershey/Gettysburg/Dutch Country Region


Marker Location:
S. Market Square (E side), Harrisburg

Dedication Date:
April 9, 1953

Behind the Marker

On February 21, 1861, the night before he arrived in Harrisburg, President-elect Lincoln had been informed of a plot to assassinate him when he passed through Baltimore. Over the objections of his aides, he went ahead with his scheduled events on February 22, since it was Washington's Birthday. He agreed, however, to return in secret to Philadelphia from Harrisburg after fulfilling his commitment to markerGovernor Andrew Curtin. From there, he planned to travel to Washington unannounced in order to elude the mob in Baltimore.

Newspapers estimated that thousands of people turned out to view the President-elect when he arrived at the state capital at 1:30 p.m. He was driven into town from the train station in a beautiful carriage drawn by six "elegantly comparisoned grey horses."

He went to the Jones Hotel, located on the southeastern corner of Market and Second streets, where event planners had erected an arch across from the hotel entrance that was lined with small American flags and featured a large banner that read: "Welcome President to our Capitol [sic]."

Governor Curtin and President-elect Lincoln then briefly addressed the crowd from a balcony outside of the hotel. "If my own strength should fail," Lincoln said dramatically, "I shall at least fall back upon these masses, who, I think, under any circumstances will not fail."
Back to Top