West Virginia State Capitol Complex Walking Tour


Lincoln Walks at Midnight

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()

Overview Listen

West Virginia sculptor Fred Torrey designed Lincoln Walks at Midnight based on Vachel Lindsay’s 1914 poem of the same name. The statue represents Lincoln's decision to grant West Virginia statehood during the Civil War.

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Photo Photo by: Jodie Groves
Photo Photo by: Billy Heath III

Backstory Listen

   West Virginia sculptor Fred Torrey designed Lincoln Walks at Midnight based on Vachel Lindsay’s 1914 poem of the same name. Lindsay’s poem depicts Lincoln's restless spirit walking through Springfield in the midst of the Civil War. The statue represents the former president on one such night as he considers how to respond to West Virginia's application for statehood in the midst of the Civil War. 

   After Torrey’s death in 1967, the sale of the statue’s model was delayed. Though discussion of the model’s purchase was begun in 1966 the sale was not completed until 1969. In 1974, Charleston artist Bernard Wiepper created a nine-and-a-half-foot bronze cast of the original model. The statue was placed in front of the West Virginia State Capitol to represent Lincoln contemplating the creation of West Virginia as the 35th state in the Union. The statue is located in front of the south portico of the West Virginia State Capitol overlooking the Kanawha River and located in front of the capitol's main rotunda.


1900 Kanawha Blvd E
Charleston, WV 25305

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Sources
Abraham Walks at Midnight. West Virginia Division of History and Culture. Accessed May 02, 2018. http://wvculture.zenfolio.com/snapshot/h59700CEA#h59700cea.

"Statues of Abraham Lincoln. West Virginia". Internet Archive. 1979. Accessed February 10, 2019. https://archive.org/details/statuesoftlinc/page/n7.


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