Had a great trip to Springfield, Illinois last month, where the boys and I hit all the Lincoln sites. One of the reasons for the visit was stories Grayson had told me about attempts to steal Lincoln's body from his tomb in Springfield. So the day before we were to visit the tomb I got this book and speed-read it. I was really glad I did because I recognized everything right away when I got there. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I knew where the bodies were buried. Literally. And it isn't obvious.
Originally Lincoln's body was in a casket inside a stone sarcophagus that sat in that same location as shown in the antique image to the right – but oriented the opposite direction towards the door Parker is walking away from, and visitors saw it from the outside from that location. (Yes, he's hunting Pokemon. Somehow I think Abe would have really liked that). That door had metal bars and a lock, similar to what visitors see for George Washington at Mount Vernon, but that was all there was protecting Lincoln's casket from tomb robbers. Thus when they came in 1876, they succeeded in breaking open the tomb and hauling the casket halfway out before being surprised and beating a hasty retreat.
What happened after that beggars belief, but the eventual result – which took 25 years – was that Lincoln was buried 15 feet below the original above-ground tomb, with the grave back-filled with concrete, and the marble sarcophagus just marks the spot. Visitors now come to see it from within the building from the front, and the original entrance is now a stained glass door – which you can see behind the tomb and behind Parker.
I knew it would just kill me to learn all this after I was there so I stayed up Saturday night till midnight so I'd know what I was looking at. very, very glad I did.