Having lived near Springfield, Ill., most of my life, I cannot resist commenting on the article about Lincoln and the city [“Springfield, Ill., tips its hat to Lincoln,” Nov. 4]. It was most enjoyable reading. However, I was a little disappointed that you did not mention New Salem State Historic Site near Petersburg, Ill., a restored village where Lincoln once lived that is a must for anyone visiting the Lincoln sites. I have recommended it to my friends here in the East many times and when living there always made it a must on our tours when we had guests.
Re the Lincoln in Springfield story: My brother and I made much the same pilgrimage last year for a different reason. Our mother grew up there. In fact, it was her great-grandfather, George Chatterton, who made Mary Todd’s wedding ring, as mentioned in the story, and Lincoln’s watch that is now at the Smithsonian.
Our mother was Margaret Chatterton Yates, so the other side of our family included Richard Yates, the Illinois Civil War governor and close Lincoln confidant. At Yates’s office in the Old Capitol, we met his impersonator, who was quick to show us that President Lincoln’s transition office was on one side of the governor’s office, while Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s was on the other (Yates gave Grant his first commission).
My brother and I had our picture taken with the Lincoln family in the museum, thus reuniting the families Lincoln, Chatterton and Yates.