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"I thank you, dear Jesus, that I behold President Linkum!' was the exclamation of a woman who stood upon the threshold of her humble home, and, with streaming eyes and clasped hands, gave thanks aloud to the savior of men.

"Another, more demonstrative in her joy, was jumping, and striking her hands with all her might, crying, 'Bless de Lord, bless de Lord, bless de Lord!' as if there could be no end of her thanksgiving.

"The air rang with a tumultuous chorus of voices. The streets became almost impassable on account of the increasing multitude. Soldiers were summoned to clear the way. How strange the event! The President of the United States-he who had been hated, despised, maligned, above all other men living; to whom the vilest epithets had been applied by the people of Richmond was walking their streets, receiving thanksgiving, blessings, and prayers from thousands who hailed him as an ally of the Messiah ! . . .

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"Abraham Lincoln was walking their streets; and, worst of all, that plain, honest-hearted man was recognizing the 'niggers' as human beings by returning their salutations! The walk was long, and the President halted a moment to rest. May de good Lord bless you, President Linkum!' said an old negro, removing his hat, and bowing, with tears of joy rolling down his cheeks. The President removed his own hat, and bowed in silence; but it was a bow which upset the forms, laws, customs, and ceremonies of centuries. It was a death-shock to chivalry, and a mortal wound to caste. Recognize a nigger! Faugh! A woman in an adjoining house beheld it, and turned from the scene in unspeakable disgust. There were men in the crowd who had daggers in their eyes; but the chosen assassin was not there, the

hour for the damning work had not come, and that greathearted man passed on to the Executive Mansion of the Confederacy.

"Want of space compels us to pass over other scenes, -the visit of the President to the State House; the jubilant shouts of the crowd; the rush of freedmen into the Capitol grounds, where, till the appearance of their deliverer, they had never been permitted to enter; the ride of the President through the streets; his visit to Libby Prison; the distribution of bread to the destitute," &c.

While reminded of Washington returning the salute of a negro because he would not be outdone in politeness, none can fail to recognize even more than politeness in Lincoln's act of courtesy. It was justice, strict, impartial justice, that lowered the brow of the conqueror to the salutation of the delivered.

Joy filled the North. Bells were rung with jubilant and untiring energy. Cannons bayed the nation's joy. Everywhere there was gladness on human faces. Men clasped hands joyously, and the words "victory" and "peace" were on every tongue. Even those whose dear ones would never return from the field of battle thanked God, with tearful eyes and aching hearts, that such precious blood had not been shed in vain. Drafting and recruiting was stopped in the loyal States, and "all went merry as a marriage-bell." Scarcely had the people ceased shouting over the fall of Richmond, when there came tidings of the surrender of Lee; and again the bells and cannon were heard, and glad hearts thanked God for the news.

But, hark! the jubilant bells cease. On the air at midnight, in more than one city in our land, comes the solemn stroke of the death-knell. What can it portend? Roused from slumber by the unwelcome sound, the peo

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ple learn the sad and shocking tidings that their beloved President had been stricken down by an assassin's hand, and lay bleeding and dying in the capital of the nation.

The morning papers tell in staring capitals the hor rid tale: "The President is insensible, life is slowly ebbing away," is the telegraphic message from one who watched at his side; and before nine A.M., on the 15th of April, 1865, flags hang at half-mast, minute-guns are sounding, bells toll, tears fill the eyes of strong men, and women and children weep, as for their own beloved dead; for President Lincoln is with us no longer. Slavery struck its final blow, and orphaned the nation.

Wearied with the incessant cares of his office, the President sometimes sought rest and relaxation from stern duties by attending the theatre, listening to the elocutional powers of the performers, and beholding the success with which the actors "held the mirror up to nature."

On the night of the 14th of April, 1865, he attended Ford's Theatre in Washington, partly for a respite and rest, and partly that the people, who expected his presence, might not be disappointed. He did not dream of immediate danger. Many at the North were uneasy at the fact that the President was exposed to danger in Richmond; but he did not fear. To a friend who expressed the idea that the rebels might attempt his life, he said, stepping to a desk, and drawing from a pigeon-hole a package of letters, "There, every one of these contains a threat to assassinate me. I might be nervous if I were to dwell upon the subject; but I have come to the conclusion that there are opportunities to kill me every day of my life, if there are persons disposed to do it. It is not possible to avoid exposure to such a fate, and I shall not trouble myself about it."

So he attended the theatre, without taking precautions against the assassin who came, all unannounced, to his unguarded victim. "The play was 'Our American Cousin.' While all were intent upon its representation, the report of a pistol first announced the presence of the assassin,* who uttered the word "Freedom!" and advanced toward the front. Major Rathbone having discerned the murderer through the smoke, and grappled with him, the latter dropped his pistol, and aimed with a knife at the breast of his antagonist, who caught the blow on the upper part of his left arm, but was unable to detain the desperado, though he immediately seized him again. The villain, however, leaped some twelve feet down upon the open stage, tangling his spur in the draped flag below the box, and stumbling in his fall.


Recovering himself immediately, he flourished hisdagger, shouted' Sic semper tyrannis!' and 'The South is avenged!' then retreated successfully through the labyrinth of the theatre-perfectly familiar to him- to his horse in waiting below. Between the deed of blood and the escape, there was not the lapse of a minute. The hour was about half-past ten. There was but one pursuer, and he from the audience; but he was outstripped.

"The meaning of the pistol-shot was soon ascertained. Mr. Lincoln had been shot in the back of the head, behind the left ear, the ball traversing an oblique line to the right ear. He was rendered instantly unconscious, and never knew friends or pain again. Having been conveyed as soon as possible to a house opposite the theatre, he expired there the next morning at twenty-two minutes past seven o'clock, attended by the principal members

* J. Wilkes Booth.

of his cabinet, and other friends; from all of whom the heart-rending spectacle drew copious tears of sorrow. Mrs. Lincoln and her son Robert were in an adjoining apartment; the former bowed down with anguish, the

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latter strong enough to sustain and console her. Soon after nine o'clock, the body was removed to the White House under military escort."

There the body was embalmed, and prepared for the grave. The paraphernalia of mourning, in this case no heartless display, filled the house. In the east room, the solemn funeral services were first performed. "Near the centre of the room stood the grand catafalque, upon which rested the mortal remains of the illustrious dead, enclosed in a beautiful mahogany coffin lined with lead, and with a white satin covering over the metal. It was finished in the most elaborate style, with four silver handles on each side, stars glistening between the handles, and a vein of silver winding around the whole case in a serpentine form. To the edges of the lid hung a

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