Good Friday, April 14, 1865

Mary Lincoln would later recall how cheerful her husband was this day. Their son Robert had just returned home from the front lines after serving with General Grant, and the war was coming to a close. During an afternoon carriage ride he had said to her, “We must both, be more cheerful in the future—between the war & the loss of our darling Willie—we have both, been very miserable.”

And then he was gone. He was assassinated that evening.

Lincoln’s funeral train retraced the route that the president-elect had taken on his way to his first inauguration, travelling over 1,600 miles as it carried his body back to Springfield, Illinois for burial. Lincoln’s body lay in state in ten cities, including Albany, New York, where New York State Senator Andrew Dickson White served as a pall bearer and spoke at the memorial services. Millions of people viewed Lincoln’s body or the funeral train on this journey. All of America mourned.

On the evening of April 14, 1865, Lincoln attended a special performance of the comedy, “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater, where he was shot and killed by the assassin and actor, John Wilkes Booth.

This broadside, which includes an albumen photograph of a drawing of Lincoln, was one of the most elaborate of the many memorial publications issued in the wake of Lincoln’s assassination. Cornell has two versions of this print.

This framed oval broadside is one of the many memorial publications issued in the wake of Lincoln’s assassination. See another version of this print above.

The cheering crowds and parades that had celebrated General Robert E. Lee’s surrender just two weeks before became funeral processions mourning the slain president. Here soldiers from the New York 7th Regiment march in a hollow square formation that frames Lincoln’s hearse.

Saturday, April 15

This morning came the news of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln & probably of Mr. Seward & his son. It is terrible, but Lincoln’s fame is secure and God will protect the Republic. To Syracuse.

Sunday, April 16

Heard Mr. Canfield preach at Presbyterian Church on the Great Calamity.

Andrew Dickson White wrote in his Autobiography about Lincoln’s memorial services in Albany:

Shortly afterward the body of the murdered President, borne homeward to Illinois, rested overnight in the State Capitol, and preparations were made for its reception. I was one of the bearers chosen by the Senate and was also elected to pronounce one of the orations. Rarely have I felt an occasion so deeply: it has been my lot during my life to be present at the funerals of various great rulers and magnates; but at none of these was so deep an impression made upon me as by the body of Lincoln lying in the assembly chamber at Albany, quiet and peaceful at last.

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