Seaberg, Hal. Travelogues and Correspondence, 1939-1942 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection contains the travelogues and correspondence of Hal Seaberg, a Swedish immigrant and steelworker who spent at least four summers visiting sites related to Abraham Lincoln.
Carl Hjalmar Seaberg, known as Hal, moved to the United States from Sweden around 1923 and worked in a steel plant in Midland, Pennsylvania. A member of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Seaberg had a great admiration toward Lincoln, citing him as capturing his idea of the "American Dream." From 1939 to 1942, he spent his summers visiting Lincoln-related sites throughout the country. Through his travels, he also formed close relationships with other Lincoln admirers, including Harry E. Pratt, executive secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Association, and a group of nearly 30 others he traveled with in 1940 that Seaberg dubbed the "Pilgrimage Party" in his writing.
After he had completed his travels, Seaberg wrote about his experiences in two travelogues. The first, "Twice a Pilgrim through the Lincoln Country," was a 65-page typescript that covered his trips to Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois in 1939 and 1940. The other was "On the Lincoln Ancestral Trail," a 20-page account of his trip from Massachusetts to Virginia in 1941. He made other trips through 1942, hoping to visit all of the sites recommended to him by Louis A. Warren, a Lincoln scholar and author.
This collection contains Harry Pratt's copy of Seaberg's travelogue typescript, as well as nine letters written from Seaberg to Pratt during his travels. The typescript also includes a number of photographs featuring Seaberg, his companions, and the sites he visited.
The collection came to the Library from Marion Bonzi Pratt, Harry Pratt's wife, after her death in December 1963.