[View of Albany from east side of the Hudson River in Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, Courtesy of The Gilder Lehrman Collection, New York]
Lincoln's long pre-inaugural railroad tour took him all through New York state, with the first stop in its far west at Westfield, where the now bearded president-elect met the apparent inspiration for his now iconic look, 12-year-old Grace Bedell.
There were multiple stops and appearances over several days of travel through the state, including an overnight in Albany Feb. 18-19. Why, then, did he go to Troy the next day, which is north of Albany, the opposite direction from his ultimate destination in Washington? Because the water was too high in the Hudson at Albany, where passengers normally crossed by ferry before taking the train down the river's eastern shore.
The Hudson River Bridge Company started building a railroad bridge in Albany during the Lincoln administration. It opened the year after he died, and was replaced in 1901-02. That 117-year-old Livingston Avenue Bridge remains in operation today on Amtrak's main line, taking passengers and freight from Manhattan to Canada, or to Chicago, where they can travel on to Seattle or California, or take the line down to Little Rock and Dallas, which remain part of the United States of America. The bridge's long-dead builders are far closer to Lincoln's age than to our own.