President Lincoln Assassinated!!: the Firsthand Story of the Murder, Manhunt, Trial, and Mourning
For the 150th anniversary, Harold Holzer (The Civil War in 150 Objects) presents an unprecedented firsthand chronicle of one of the most pivotal moments in American history. On April 14, 1865, Good Friday, the Civil War claimed its ultimate sacrifice. President Lincoln Assassinated!! recaptures the dramatic immediacy of Lincoln’s assassination, the hunt for the conspirators and their military trial, and the nation’s mourning for the martyred president. The fateful story is told in more than eighty original documents—eyewitness reports, medical records, trial transcripts, newspaper articles, speeches, letters, diary entries, and poems—by more than seventy-five participants and observers, including the assassin John Wilkes Booth and Boston Corbett, the soldier who shot him. Courtroom testimony exposes the intricacies of the plot to kill the president; eulogies by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wendell Phillips, and Benjamin Disraeli and poetry by Walt Whitman, Herman Melville and Julia Ward Howe give eloquent voice to grief; two emotional speeches by Frederick Douglass—one of them never before published—reveal his evolving perspective on Lincoln’s legacy. Together these voices combine to reveal the full panorama of one the most shocking and tragic events in our history.
Faith, our patience and our devotion to the cause, now dearer to us than ever before, because consecrated by the blood of its conspicuous defender, its truest and most fondly trusted friend. He is dead. But the God in whom he trusted lives, and He can guide and strengthen his successor as He guided and strengthened him. He is dead. But the memory of his virtues; of his wise and patriotic counsels and labors; of his calm and steady faith in God, lives as precious, and will be a power for good in.
Chicago, courtesy of Getty Images. 18. Mourners in front of the Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois, courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. 19. Lincoln’s funeral procession in New York City, photograph by Robert N. Dennis. Courtesy of the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site. 20. “The Founder and the Preserver of the Union. (Apotheosis)” by Thurston, Herline & Co. Courtesy of the Lincoln Museum Collection. 21. “Britannia Sympathises With Columbia”.
“Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre, in Washington on the night of the horrid tragedy. He gives some new facts in reference to the assassination and the assassin. We are permitted to publish the letter, which is as follows:— WASHINGTON, Sunday, April 16.—This is the first opportunity I have had to write to you since the assassination of our dear President on Friday night, as I have been in custody, nearly ever since. I was one of the principal witnesses of that sad affair, being the only one.
I told him to wait an hour if he was not dead; if he recovered, to wait there, and send over to Belle Plain for a surgeon from one of the gunships; and, if he died in the space of an hour, to get the best conveyance he could, and bring him on, dead or alive. Q. You left before he died? A. No: I staid there some ten minutes after this was said; and the doctor who was there said he was dead. Boston Corbett Testimony Before the Military Commission The man who shot Booth was Sergeant Boston.
Trial borne, and in hope born of conscious right, whom the wheels of Fortune sent hither to transmit such virtues—the descendants of these have no heart, no ear for the diabolisms born in hot-beds of tyranny and intolerance. No descendant of these, no woman of this temperate land could have seen, much less joined, her son, descending the sanguinary and irrepassable paths of treason and murder, to ignominious death, or an expatriated and attainted life, worse than the punishing wheel and bloody.