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People Born in Springfield
Springfield in People's Lives
Abraham Lincoln: I lived here from 1837 - 1861, worked as a sucessful lawyer, and saw my political career take off. I met and married Mary Todd Lincoln here, and as a couple we dealt with the heartbreak of losing many children.
Liam Neeson: I visited this town in 2011, to research Abraham Lincoln after being offered the change to play him in the movie Lincoln. After studying Lincoln's life, I declined the role, thinking myself too old for it, and that I had too much respect for the man to let anyone but the right actor play out his life's story.
Mary Todd Lincoln: I moved here in 1839, at the age of 20, to live with my sister. Her husband served as my guardian. Active in society here and popular in social circles, I met and was courted by Stephen A. Douglas, a young lawyer. However, I ultimately chose Abraham Lincoln, and we married in 1842 at my sister's home. I was 23 and he was 33. We lived here for a long while, and I supported my husband diligently as he rose politically. At times, as he went on law circuits, I was left at home alone with the children. Abraham and I dealt with the tragedy of losing many children here. In 1861, after Abraham had been elected President, our family moved to the White House in Washington D.C. Years later, in 1875, I returned to this city, a changed woman. Abraham had been dead for a decade, and all of my sons except for Robert had died as well. Recently, I had become depressed and irrational, and Robert had committed me to a mental institution in Batavia, Illinois. However, I had used the influence of my name to force him to sign for my release, and he agreed that I could move back to this city and live with my sister, just as I had when I was a 20 year old girl. How long ago that all seemed now. In 1876, I attempted suicide, going to the local pharmacy and requesting an enormous amount of laudanum. However, the pharmacist realized what my intention was, and gave me a placebo. I attempted to get over my depression by moving to France in 1876. I returned to this city in 1880, in failing health. In 1882, I collapsed in my sister's home and went into a coma, from which I never awoke. I died here, at the age of 63. I was buried in this town in Oak Ridge Cemetery, at last beside my husband again, where I belonged.