Obama not the first Pres.-elect to take train through Baltimore
Barack Obama has never been one to shy away from Lincoln symbolism in his presidential run (for example, making his campaign announcement on the steps of the old state house in Springfield, where the 16th president served). Like Lincoln, Obama plans to arrive in Washington by train. (Lincoln rode the rails all the way from Illinois; Obama's just picking up a train out of Philly.) But he's looking for a somewhat more triumphant stop in Baltimore than Lincoln got in 1861.
The Illinois Republican's election precipitated major secessionist uprisings throughout the south; six states seceeded before inauguration day, but border states, including in Maryland, stayed in the Union. But Baltimore was still a hotbed of anti-Lincoln sentiment, and the president-elect's chief of security, Allan Pinkerton, went to extraordinary lenghts to get him through the city safely. There's some dispute among historians about whether the plot to kill Lincoln in Baltimore was real, but Pinkerton evidently thought so. Lincoln's security forces cut telegraph lines between Baltimore and Pennsylvania to cut off communications among potential conspirators, and the president-elect left Harrisburg on a secret night train. To avoid running afoul of a city law prohibiting the running of trains through downtown at night, Lincoln's cars were drawn through by horses.
When crowds gathered to greet Lincoln's train the next day, they discovered he was already gone.