RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 7 . . Driver . . Part 6
RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. This is Part 6 of Chapter 7 . . . Driver. A new part will be posted every Thursday. New readers may want to start at the beginning.
CHAPTER 7 . . . DRIVER . . . Part 6
Dan liked going to school in York. He was in the fourth grade and made many new friends. Adam was doing most of the work caring for the horses and was doing virtually all the carriage driving, because Charles Billmeyer insisted that Dan focus on his schooling.
Even still, Dan occasionally got the job of driving some of the family members around town. Dan enjoyed this, especially since he was so much better at handing a horse drawn carriage then anyone else in the family.
In this 1860-61 school year, classes in the fall contained ever-increasing comments about the presidential election. Ultimately Abraham Lincoln was elected President on November 6th 1860. Following school on that day, George tells Dan, “Looks like you’ll finally get a chance to see a President.”
Dan asked, “How do you know that Lincoln will travel through York?” George replied, “I don’t know about Lincoln, however President Buchanan is bound to travel through York as he leaves office and returns home to Lancaster.”
George had boasted to Dan that he had seen President Buchanan on four occasions when he traveled between Washington, D.C. and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The one time that the President was scheduled to travel through York after Dan had arrived, Buchanan canceled that trip.
One evening in January 1861, Charles Billmeyer was reading the newspaper, when he suddenly made the announcement, “Looks like President-elect Abraham Lincoln’s whistle-stop train, to his inauguration, is going to travel through York.”
George and Dan turn towards each other and high-five. Charles looks at them; puzzled at what brought that on.
Dan was excited that he’d get a chance to see two Presidents; one entering office and one leaving office. George and Dan followed the news closely concerning the Lincoln whistle-stop train. The train left Springfield, Illinois on February 11th and was scheduled to travel through seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
On Friday February 22nd, Lincoln started out at Independence Hall in Philadelphia and then traveled through Chester, Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. In Harrisburg, President-elect Abraham Lincoln addressed the Pennsylvania State House.
George and Dan had their viewing spot all staked out at the Railroad Station in York. Lincoln was scheduled to travel on the Northern Central Railway from Harrisburg to York and then onto Baltimore and Washington.
The train stopped in York for the Engine to take on water. However George and Dan were disappointed that Abraham Lincoln did not show himself.
They later learned that Lincoln’s family and aids were on the train, however Lincoln was not. A plot was uncovered to assassinate President-elect Lincoln in Baltimore, this resulted in Lincoln secretly boarding a train back to Philadelphia where he connected to a Washington bound train.
Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated March 4th 1861. Dan ultimately missed out seeing ex-President Buchanan on his return home to Lancaster County. Near the end of Dan’s fourth grade of school, the Civil War broke-out on April 12th 1861, with rebels firing the first shots at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
Go to Chapter 8, Part 1