Would you believe that on February 21-22, 1861, it is likely that the same Philadelphia iron works industrialists (e.g., A. & P. Roberts and extended family) and newspaper owners (e.g., John W. Forney of The Press), that were bombarding national railroad executives with the latest advertising tools about Philadelphia's new iron bridge expertise and works (e.g., the six iron bridges recently completed on the Plains for the "Beale Wagon Road to the Pacific" sponsored by the U.S. Government), had been planning for weeks and were now hosting the President-elect of the United States of America-- Abraham Lincoln, literally in their own back yard in Philadelphia!
As I cannot use photographs that I have, you will need to find them and related text at the URL's I have provided, but what follows is a heck of an interesting story that has ties to Indian Territory just prior to the devastating Civil War to come. But at the time, the party was on, and the Six Whipple-Murphy Iron Bridges along the Beale Wagon Road built by John W. Murphy, noted on the Redbank Creek Bridge Signs, were Stars in the Making, something we can all be proud. Enjoy!
President-elect Abraham Lincoln is on his Inauguration Railway Trip from Springfield, Illinois via New York and Philadelphia to Washington for his Inauguration on March 4, 1862. Lincoln arrives in Philadelphia on the evening of 2-21-1861, as planned, and he stays at the upscale Ambassador Hotel. The next morning, he speaks around 8:00 a.m. about the new state of Kansas being admitted to the Union and added to the New American Flag while at north side of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, 2-22-1861, on south side of/at 520 Chestnut Street. The Press of Philadelphia is located one block east on north side of/at 417 Chestnut St. A. & P. Roberts & Co. is located one block south of The Press on next east-west street on south side at 410 Walnut Street. Independence Mall lies north-south thru Independence Hall just to the west of The Press and A. & P. Roberts & Co. (See Google Maps with addresses and tour the area if you have time and are interested.)
Since 1-1-1861, John W. Murphy and A. & P. Roberts & Co. had been daily advertising their growing experience and capabilities for building Murphy-Whipple Iron Bridges for the U.S. government and the railroads in The Press. Their supporting “personal business cards” even used the latest stero-graphic, photography techniques to impress prospective railroad executives.
See p.71/119 in the pdf below (see left side pics) for one of these stero-graphic “Business Cards.” Note in its text how A. &. P. Roberts along with John. W. Murphy used BWR’s “six” Iron Bridges in IT to demonstrate Murphy-Whipple expertise. Jim Stewart and I found where Murphy’s stero-bridge shown on page 71/119 was located, a two-track railroad, crossing the Lehigh River in 1857 now near Jim Thorpe, PA. See at:
Continental Hotel in Philadelphia was the largest hotel in the country when opened on 2-16-1860. It sat on the SE corner of 9th St. at Chestnut St. (898 Chestnut, 3 ½ blocks west of Independence Hall on Chestnut.) President-elect Lincoln arrived at Kensington station about 4 p.m. on 2-21-61 and goes direct to the luxurious Continental Hotel for a welcoming dinner party with his wife and a few political friends followed by a rousing speech from the hotel’s outdoor balcony about 7 p.m. overlooking 9th street. An invited-guest Philadelphia reception followed at 8:30 p.m. where Lincoln first heard about a Southern plot to assassinate him on the 23-rd as he traveled thru Baltimore. Within an hour, Allan Pinkerton, who has been secretly retained by the railroad company Lincoln is about to use to ride to Washington, D. C. will likewise inform him of the reality of the assignation plot. Pinkerton has a plan to help Lincoln to avoid the plot in Baltimore—leave immediately tonight (1-21-1861) on the regularly scheduled 11 p.m. train to Washington before they know you are coming. Lincoln says “NO Way! I’ve got appointments to go to and they are my closest (political) friends.”
The next morning, February 22, 1861, Lincoln takes his family and goes by carriage from his hotel east along Chestnut St. three and ½ blocks to Independence Hall by 6:30 a.m., has an informal breakfast & gives a brief but timely talk, then steps outside on a platform to give a “Hail Kansas” welcome speech to our newest state (1-29-61) and he raises our new 34-star American flag.
President-elect Lincoln then begins his harrowing railroad journey first to Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania to visit the newly elected Republican governor and pay some political debts and further establish some needed political friendships. He will leave Harrisburg about 8 p.m. headed back to Philadelphia by a night time rail special train. He arrives back in Philadelphia by 10 p.m. and has to ride around downtown Philadelphia in a carriage with Pinkerton and Lamon, Lincoln’s bodyguard, for nearly an hour in the dark, waiting for his previously regularly scheduled 11 p.m. passenger train to leave for Baltimore. His train leaves on schedule and arrives in Baltimore around 3:30 a.m. on February 23, 1861, the day and place the Secessionist have plotted to kill Lincoln. Read all the details about how Pinkerton and his staff still foils the Secessionists plot at: