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New York Central Railroad Station in 1855

New York Central Railroad Station on Mill Street in 1855 in what is known today as High Falls. President-elect Abraham Lincoln spoke to a crowd here in 1861.


Marking the spot in High Falls where Abraham Lincoln spoke in 1861.

Marking the spot in High Falls where Abraham Lincoln spoke in 1861.


Lincoln Plaque

This is the site of the Lincoln tablet marking his 1861 visit to High Falls. It is now along the Inner Loop.

The Soldiers and Sailors monument in Washington Square Park in 1920. Abraham Lincoln is on top. The monument, erected in 1892, honors Civil War soldiers.

The Soldiers and Sailors monument in Washington Square Park in 1920. Abraham Lincoln is on top. The monument, erected in 1892, honors Civil War soldiers.


On February 18, 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln stopped in Rochester for his inaugural tour. A crowd of about 15,000 people assembled. Lincoln had won the city with a “clear majority of 975 votes out of 7,893,” according to Blake McKelvey, He wrote in Rochester History:

Rochesterians of both parties turned out in the early morning of February 18 to cheer Lincoln on his roundabout journey to Washington, but the next day they read in their papers of the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as president of the Southern Confederacy.


The attack on Fort Sumter roused a wave of indignation throughout the North, firing the blood of the young men of Rochester as of all parts of the country. When Lincoln
called for 75,000 troops, the only criticism voiced in Rochester was to the effect that a larger force of at least 200,000 men would be required to meet the emergency.

Lincoln’s funeral train in 1865 went along much the same route as his inaugural train, passing through Rochester. The train station was moved east to Central Avenue in 1883.

Links of the Day:

Will Governor Cuomo retaliate against the mayor of Syracuse?

– A tax credit proposal seeks to lure movie productions to Buffalo and Rochester.

Could half of all universities and colleges close? 

– Suspending kids for making “finger guns” is getting more common after Newtown.

6 Responses to Lincoln’s Rochester Stop

  1. Rachel, time will tell how Cuomo handles the Miner deal, but I think that there is potential that this will expose Cuomo for what he is – a thin-skinned politician that may do well in New York where being brash and obnoxious carry the day, but doesn’t have what it takes to appeal nationally. He’s just like his father – always has to be right, wants to throttle and steamroll anyone who doesn’t agree with him, and will wear on people too quickly as a result.

    Cuomo is also planting the seeds to his demise via his close association with casino gambling interests. He needs boatloads of money to run for president, and I suspect these legalized gambling interests are being viewed as his bankers for a future presidential run. Once somebody looks more closely at this, I suspect they’ll conclude that something doesn’t smell right and the stink could derail a future presidential campaign. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/nyregion/gambling-interests-gave-cuomo-ally-millions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  2. If Cuomo retaliates against Miner it’ll show what a insecure little man he actual is and is the behavior of a tyrant, which many accuse him of being. I do take issue with the source the daily news talked to accusing Miner of a lack of loyalty. Its a perfect example of what is wrong with politics from Washington to Albany to City Halls across the county. Politicians should have no loyalty to each other their only loyalty is to their constituents. Miner’s only loyalty should be to the people of Syracuse, not Cuomo. In the old days that attitude was good cause for a tar and feathering.

    Cuomo’s refusal to help municipalities on many of these costs and simply saying “get your house in order” is an abdication of duty. The state dumps these expenses on them and then just tells them to deal with it. The pension issue is something that needs to be addressed also, I think his current proposal is alright, but more could be done. Something needs to be done to even out payments in the future. Over the last 15 years we’ve seen contributions range from 0 to 23%. Municipalities can’t take fluctuations like that, we need to set minimum contribution levels so we never see this boom and bust again.

  3. There isn’t any Constitutional guarantees of a 2 party system anywhere in America, yet saps keep registering for them and voting for them. These 2 parties have usurped the system by writing rules to favor only themselves (exclusion of registered Independents voting in primaries, refusal to bring initiative/referendum to the people just to mention 2 biggies).
    And the Pension issue isn’t an issue of ‘pensions’ and you showed that yourself. Every municipality budgeted for Pension payments at higher amounts than the 0-15% levels they were allowed to slide on during those years but that money wasn’t genuinely set aside so it wasn’t there to make up for the amounts higher than the normal 15% they had contributed for years and had budgeted for. So the Pension funding issue is one created by these scumbag politicians, not the membership no matter what Golisano and his Unshackle group say. But the sheeple are happy to blame the workers and let those elected slide. And then they say ‘why are my taxes so high? Oh it’s those greedy teachers and garbagemen!’ They have a word for that in gambling: sucker. Politicians have a word for it too: voters.

  4. Like it or not its a problem, you can’t expect municipalities to be able to handle wild variations in contributions. There needs to be some smoothing done, the problem is that were at the wrong area of the swing to fix thing. That is unless we can be sure of a good recovery, which always just seems to be beyond the horizon. I don’t know what the solution is, service cuts aren’t, pushing it to localities isn’t, maybe some sort of state bail out, maybe this reduction in permiums now with the gurantee they’ll stay above what they should be. You can’t act like its an issue that doesn’t exist. It’s certainly not as dire as the politicos say, to act like it isn’t a problem is crazy.

  5. It isn’t an issue. The City takes in plenty of money to cover it’s contributions, but it also chooses to spend it on things like studies, politically connected non-profits and various other things that aren’t ‘necessary’ to the basic needs of a city. But letting them off the hook for not choosing their financial priorities correctly also accomplishes nothing but reinforcement of the things I said above; poor budgeting and blaming employees. That is the reality, it isn’t Democrat or Republican it is as Clinton said “math”.

  6. Maybe that’s true for the city of Rochester, but to expect municipalities to deal with such swings is unrealistic. Bury your head and say its not a problem but it is. While I don’t blame the employees or their benefits, the system shouldn’t swing from 0 to almost 25% of payroll. I’m not saying there aren’t other wastes of money, but to just keep saying its the city’s problem is silly and a fight you won’t win. It may be true in this case, but it isn’t true across the state.

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