Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) online

. (page 40 of 41)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 40 of 41)
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Send a copy of the following to Mr. Adams at London by the
steamer of to-day, if in time: —
Charles Francis Adams, &c, &c. :

The sad duty devolves upon me to announce the assassination of
the President, at Ford's Theatre, last night, by a pistol-shot from a
person who entered his box for the purpose. The assassin escaped,
but it is supposed has since been arrested.

The President died at half-past seven o'clock this morning.

Vice-President Johnson has assumed the functions of President,
having been sworn in by the Chief-Justice.

About the same time an attempt was made by, it is believed, a
different person, to assassinate Mr. Seward; but the murderer only
succeeded in inflicting painful and severe wounds, principally upon
his face.

Mr. F. W. Seward was beaten over the head with a heavy weapon
in the hands of the person who attacked his father, and is grievously
hurt. His brother was also wounded by the dagger of the assassin,
as was Mr. Hansell, a messenger of the department, who was with
the Secretary and the male nurse in attendance.

William Hunter, Acting Secretary of State.

[The above telegraphic dispatch vvas sent off by the Portland
steamer at three p. m. on Saturday, April 15.]

acting secretary hunter to his subordinates.

Department of State, Washington, April 17, 1865.
It is hereby ordered that, in honor of the memory of our late illus-
trious Chief Magistrate, all officers and others subject to the orders
of the Secretary of State, wear crape upon the left arm for the period
of six months. W. Hunter, Acting Secretary.

orders from secretary stanton and general grant.

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office,
Washington, April 16. 1865.
General Orders, No. 66. — The following order of the Secretary of
War announces to the armies of the United States the untimely and
lamentable death of the illustrious Abraham Lincoln, late President
of the United States: —

War Department, Washington, April 16. 1865.
The distressing duty has devolved upon the Secretary of War to
announce to the armies of the United States, that at twenty-two
minutes after seven o'clock on the morning of Saturday, the 15th day
of April, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, died
of a mortal wound inflicted on him by an assassin. The armies of
the United States will share with their fellow-citizens the feelings
of grief and horror inspired by the most atrocious murder of their
great and beloved President and Commander-in-Chief with profound
sorrow, will mourn his death as a national calamity. The headquar-
ters of every department, post, station, fort, and arsenal will be
draped in mourning for thirty days, and appropriate funeral honors


will be paid by every army, and in every department, ana at every
military "post, and at the Military Academv at West Point, to the
memory of the late illustrious Chief Magistrate of the nation, and
Commander-in-Chief of the armies. Lieutenant-General Grant will
give the necessary instructions for carrying this order into effect.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

On the day after the receipt of the order at headquarters of every
military division, department, army-post, station, fort, and arsenal,
and at the Military Academy at West Point, the troops and cadets
will be paraded at ten o'clock a. m., and the order read to them.
After which all labor and operations for the day will cease, and be
suspended, as far as practicable in a state of war. The national flag
will be displayed at half-staff. At the dawn of day thirteen guns will
be fired, and afterwards at intervals of thirty minutes between the
rising and the setting of the sun a single gun, and at the close of
the day a national salute of thirty-six guns. The officers of the armies
of the United States will wear the badge of mourning on the left
arm and on their swords, and the colors of their commands and regi-
ments will be put in mourning for the period of six months.

By command of Lieutenant-General Grant.

(Signed) W. A. Nichols, Assistant Adjutant-General.

War Department, Washington, April 16, 1865.
Lieutenant-General Grant, U. S. Army, Commanding Armies of the
United States, Washington, D. C.

General: — You will please announce by general order to the armies
of the United States, that on Saturday, the 15th day of April, 1865, by
reason of the death of Abraham Lincoln, the office of President of the
United States devolved upon Andrew Johnson, Vice-President, who,
on the same day, took the official oath prescribed for the President,
and entered upon the duties of that office.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office,
Washington, April 16, 1865.

General Orders, No. 7. — It is hereby announced to the armies of
the United States, that on Saturday, the 15th day of April, 1865, by
reason of the death of Abraham Lincoln, the office of the President
of the United States devolved upon Andrew Johnson, Vice-Presi-
dent, who, on the same day, took the official oath prescribed for the
President, and entered upon the duties of that office.

By command of Lieutenant-General Grant.

W. A. Nichols, Assistant Adjutant-General.


Navy Department, Washington, April 17, 1865.
Special Orders.— Vice-Admiral D. G. Farragut and Rear-Admiral
William B. Shubrick have been designated to make the necessary
arrangements on the part of the Navy and Marine Corps for attend-


ing, on Wednesday next, the funeral of the late President of the
United States. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.

Navy Department, Washington, April 17, 1865.
Special Orders.— Officers of the Navy and Marine Corps will as-
semble at the Navy Department, in uniform, at 10 o'clock a. m., on
Wednesday next, for the purpose of attending the funeral of the
late President of the United States.

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.

War Department, Adjutant- General's Office,
Special Orders.— By order of the President of the United States,
the Navy Department will be closed on Wednesday next, the day
of the funeral solemnities of the late President of the United States.
Labor will also be suspended on that day at each of the navy-yards
and navy stations, and upon all the vessels of the United States. The
flags of all vessels and at all navy-yards and stations and marine bar-
racks will be kept at half-mast during the day, and at 12 o'clock,
meridian, twenty-one minute-guns will be fired by the senior officer
of each squadron and the commandents of each of the navy-yards
and stations.

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.


Treasury Department, Washington, April 18, 1865.
The Secretary of the Treasury, with profound sorrow, announces
to the revenue marine the death of Abraham Lincoln, late President
of the United States. He died in this city on the morning of the 15th
inst, at twenty-two minutes past seven o'clock. The officers of the
revenue marine will, as a manifestation pi their respect for the ex-
alted character and eminent public services of the illustrious dead,
and of their sense of the calamity the country has sustained by this
afflicting dispensation of Providence, wear crape on the left arm and
upon the hilt of the sword for six months. It is further directed
that funeral honors be paid on board all revenue vessels in commis-
sion, by firing thirty-six minute-guns, commencing at meridian on the
day after the receipt of this order, and by wearing their flags at half-
mast. Hugh McCulloch, Secretary of the Treasury.

order from postmaster-general dennison.

Post-Office Department, Washington, April 17.
To Deputy Postmasters:

Business in all the post-offices of the United States will be sus-
pended, and the offices closed, from 11 a. m. to 3 p. m. on Wednesday,
the 19th instant, during the funeral solemnities of Abraham Lincoln,
late President of the United States.

W. Dennison, Postmaster-General.



Whereas, By my direction the acting Secretary of State, in a notice


to the public, on the 17th of April, requested the various religious
denominations to assemble on the 19th of April, on the occasion of
the obsequies of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United
States, and to observe the same with appropriate ceremonies; and

Whereas, Our country has become one great house of mourning,
where the head of the family has been taken away, and believing that
a special period should be assigned for again humbling ourselves be-
fore Almighty God, in order that the bereavement may be sanctified
to the nation:

Now, therefore, in order to mitigate that grief on earth which can
only be assuaged by communion with the Father in Heaven, and in
compliance with the wishes of Senators and Representatives in Con-
gress, communicated to me by a resolution adopted at the national
capital, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby
appoint Thursday, the 25th day of May next, to be observed, wher-
ever in the United States the flag of the country may be respected,
as a day of humiliation and mourning, and recommend my fellow-
citizens then to assemble in their respective places of worship, there
to unite in solemn service to Almighty God in memory of the good
man who has been removed, so that all shall be occupied at the same
time in contemplation of his virtues and sorrow for his sudden and
violent end.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, the twenty-fifth day of April, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-
[l. s.] five, and of the independence of the United States of America
the eighty-ninth. Andrew Johnson.

By the President:

W. Hunter, Acting Secretary of State.


The following is the official report of the death of Mr. Lincoln,
addressed to the Legation in London : —

Washington, April 15.
Sir: — It has become my distressing duty to announce to you that
last night his Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
States, was assassinated, about the hour of half-past ten o'clock, in
his private box at Ford's Theatre, in this city. The President, about
eight o'clock, accompanied Mrs. Lincoln to the theatre. Another
lady and gentleman were with them in the box. About half-past ten,
during a pause in the performance, the assassin entered the box,
the door of which was unguarded, hastily approached the President
from behind, and discharged a pistol at his head. The bullet entered
the back of his head, and penetrated nearly through. The assassin
then leaped from the box upon the stage, brandishing a large knife
or dagger, and exclaiming, "Sic semper tyrannis!" and escaped in
the rear of the theatre. Immediately upon the discharge, the Presi-
dent fell to the floor insensible, and continued in that state until
twenty minutes past seven o'clock this morning, when he breathed



his last. About the same time the murder was being committed at
the theatre, another assassin presented himself at the door of Mr.
Seward's residence, gained admission by representing he had a pre-
scription from Mr. Seward's physician, which he was directed to see
administered, and hurried up to the third-story chamber, where Mr.
Seward was lying. He here discovered Mr. Frederick Seward, struck
him over the head, inflicting several wounds, and fracturing his
skull in two places, inflicting, it is feared, mortal wounds. He then
rushed into the room where Mr. Seward was in bed, attended by a
young daughter and a male nurse. The male attendant was stabbed
through the lungs, and it is believed will die. The assassin then
struck Mr. Seward with a knife or dagger twice in the throat and
twice in the face, inflicting terrible wounds. By this time Major
Seward, eldest son of the Secretary, and another attendant reached
the room, and rushed to the rescue of the Secretary; they were also
wounded in the conflict, and the assassin escaped. No artery or
important blood-vessel was severed by any of the wounds inflicted
upon him, but he was for a long time insensible from the loss of
blood. Some hope of his possible recovery is entertained. Immedi-
ately upon the death of the President, notice was given to Vice-
President Johnson, who happened to be in the city, and upon whom
the office of President now devolves. He will take the office and
assume the functions of President to-day. The murderer of the Presi-
dent has been discovered, and evidence obtained that these horrible
crimes were committed in execution of a conspiracy deliberately
planned and set on foot by rebels, under pretence of avenging the
South and aiding the rebel cause; but it is hoped that the imme-
diate perpetrators will be caught. The feeling occasioned by these
outrageous crimes is so great, sudden, and overwhelming, that I
cannot at present do more than communicate them to you. At the
earliest moment yesterday the President called a Cabinet meeting,
at which General Grant was present. He was more cheerful and
happy than I had ever seen him, rejoiced at the near prospect of
firm and durable peace at home and abroad, manifested in a marked
degree the kindness and humanity of his disposition, and the tender
and forgiving spirit that so eminently distinguished him. Public no-
tice had been given that he and General Grant would be present at
the theatre, and the' opportunity of adding the Lieutenant-General
to the number of victims to be murdered was no doubt seized for
the fitting occasion of executing the plans that appear to have been
in preparation for some weeks, but General Grant was compelled to
be absent, and thus escaped the designs upon him. It is needless
for me to say anything in regard of the influence which this atrocious
murder of the President may exercise upon the affairs of this country
but I will only add that, horrible as are the atrocities that have been
resorted to by the enemies of the country, they are not likely in any
degree to impair the public spirit or postpone the complete final
overthrow of the rebellion. In profound grief for the events which


it is my duty to communicate to you, I have the honor to be, very
respectfully, your obedient servant. Edwin M. Stanton.

To Charles Francis Adams, London.



[From the Philadelphia Press, April 19.]

We have just received the following letter, written by John Wilkes
Booth, and placed by him in the hands of his brother-in-law, J. S.
Clarke'. It was written by him in November last, and left with J. S.
Clarke in a sealed envelope, and addressed to himself, in his own
handwriting. In the same envelope were some United States bonds
and oil stocks. This letter was opened by Mr. Clarke for the first
time on Monday last, and immediately handed by him to Marshall
Milward, who has kindly placed it in cur hands. Most unmistakably
it proves that he must for many months have contemplated seizing
the person of the late President. It is, however, doubtful whether he
imagined the black deed which has plunged the nation into the deep-
est gloom, and at the same time awakened it to a just and righteous
indignation : —

, , 1864.

My Dear Sir:— You may use this as you think best. But as some
may wish to know, when, who, and why, and as I do not know how
to direct it, I give it (in the words of your master) : —
"To whom it may concern."

Right or wrong, God judge me, not man. For be my motive good
or bad, of one thing I am sure, the lasting condemnation of the North.

I love peace more than life. Have loved the Union beyond expres-
sion. For four years have I waited, hoped, and prayed for the dark
clouds to break, and for a restoration of our former sunshine. To
wait longer would be a crime. All hope for peace is dead. My
prayers have proved as idle as my hopes. God's will be done. I go
to see and share the bitter end.

I have ever held that the South were right. The very nomination
of Abraham Lincoln, four years ago, spoke plainly war — war upon
Southern rights and institutions. His election proved it. "Await an
overt act." Yes; till you are bound and plundered. What folly!
The South were wise. Who thinks of argument or patience when
the finger of his enemy presses on the trigger? In a foreign war,
I, too, could say, "Country, right or wrong." But in a struggle such
as ours (where the brother tries to pierce the brother's heart), for
G©d's sake choose the right. When a country like this spurns jus-
tice from her side, she forfeits the allegiance of every honest free-
man, and should leave him, untrammelled by any fealty soever, to
act as his conscience may approve.

People of the North, to h.ate tyranny, to love liberty and justice, to


strike at wrong and oppression, was the teaching of our fathers. The
study of our early history will not let me forget it, and may it never.

This country was formed for the white, not for the black man. And,
looking upon African slavery from the same standpoint held by the
noble framers of our Constitution. I, for one, have ever considered
it one of the greatest blessings (both for themselves and us) that
God ever bestowed upon a favored nation. Witness heretofore our
wealth and power; witness their elevation and enlightenment above
their race elsewhere. I have lived among it most of my life, and
have seen less harsh treatment from master to man than I have be-
held in the North from father to son. Yet, Heaven knows, no one
would be more willing to do more for the negro race than I, could
I but see a way to still better their condition.

But Lincoln's policy is only preparing the way for their total anni-
hilation. The South are not, nor have they been, fighting for the
continuance of slavery. The first battle of Bull Run did away with
that idea. Their causes since for war have been as noble and greater
far than those that urged our fathers on. Even should we allow
they were wrong at the beginning of this contest, cruelty and injus-
tice have made the wrong become the right, and they stand now
(before the wonder and admiration of the world) as a noble band of
patriotic heroes. Hereafter, reading of their deeds, Thermopylae will
be forgotten.

When I aided in the capture and execution of John Brown (who
was a murderer on our western border, and who was fairly tried and
convicted, before an impartial judge and jury, of treason, and who,
by-the-way, has since been made a god), I was proud of my little
share in the transaction, for I Jeemed it my duty, and that I was
helping our common country to perform an act of justice. But what
was a crime in poor John Brown is now considered (by themselves)
as the greatest and only virtue of the whole Republican party.

Strange transmigration! Vice to become a virtue simply because
more indulge in it!

I thought then, as now, that the abolitionists were the only traitors
in the land, and that the entire party deserved the same fate as poor
old Brown; not because they wish to abolish slavery, but on account
of the means they have ever endeavored to use to effect that aboli-
tion. If Brown were living, I doubt whether he himself would set
slavery against the Union. Most, or many in the North do, and
openly, _ curse the Union if the South are to return and retain a
single right guaranteed to them by every tie which we once revered
as sacred. The South can make no choice. It is either extermination
or slavery for themselves (worse than death) to draw from. I know
my choice.

I have also studied hard to discover upon what grounds the right
of a State to secede has been denied, when our very name, United
States, and the Declaration of Independence, both provide for se-
cession. But there is no time for words. I write in haste. I know
how foolish I shall be deemed for undertaking such a step as this,
where, on the one side, I have many friends and everything to make
me happy, where my profession alone has gained me an income of
more than twenty thousand dollars a year, and where my great per-


sonal ambition in my profession has such a great field for labor.
On the other hand, the South has never bestowed upon me one kind
word; a place now where I have no friends, except beneath the sod;
a place where I must either become a private soldier or a beggar.
To give up all of the former for the latter, besides my mother and
sisters, whom I love so dearly (although they so widely differ with
me in' opinion), seems insane; but God is my judge. I love justice
more than I do a country that disowns it; more than fame and
wealth; more (Heaven pardon me if wrong), more than a happy
home. I have never been upon a battle-field; but oh! my country-
men, could you all but see the reality or effects of this horrid war
as I have seen them (in every State, save Virginia), I know you
would think like me, and would pray the Almighty to create in the
Northern mind a sense of right and justice (even should it possess
no seasoning of mercy), and that He would dry up this sea of blood
between, us, which is daily growing wider. Alas! poor country, is
she to meet her threatened doom? Four years ago I would have
given a thousand lives to see her remain (as I had always known
her) powerful and unbroken. And even now I would hold my life
as naught to see her what she was. Oh! my friends, if the fearful
scenes of the past four years had never been enacted, or if what
has been had been but a frightful dream, from which we could now
awake, with what overflowing hearts could we bless our God and
pray for his continued favor! How I have loved the old flag can
never now be known. A few years since, and the entire world could
boast of none so pure and spotless. But I have of late been seeing
and hearing of the bloody deeds of which she has been made the
emblem, and would shudder to think how changed she had grown.
Oh! how I have longed to see her break from the mist of blood
and death that circles round her folds, spoiling her beauty and tar-
nishing her honor. But no, day by day has she been dragged deeper
and deeper into cruelty and oppression, till now (in my eyes) her
once bright red stripes look like bloody gashes on the face of heaven.
I look now upon my early admiration of her glories as a dream.
My love (as things stand to-day) is for the South alone. Nor do
I deem it a dishonor in attempting to make for her a prisoner of
this man, to whom she owes so much of miserv. If success attend
me, I go penniless to her side. They say she has found that "last
ditch" which the North have so long derided and been endeavoring
to force her in, forgetting they are our brothers, and that it is im-
politic to goad an enemy to madness. Should I reach her in safety,
and find it true, I will proudly beg permission to triumph or die in
that same "ditch" by her side.

A Confederate doing duty upon his own responsibility.

J. Wilkes Booth.



The following is a copy of the charge and specification against


David E. Harold, George A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, Michael
O'Laughlin, John H. Surratt, Edward Spangler, Samuel Arnold,
Mary E. Surratt, and Samuel Mudd: —

Charge ist. — For maliciously, unlawfully, and traitorously, and in
aid of the existing armed rebellion against the United States of
America, on or before the 6th day of March, a. d. 1865, and on divers
other days between that day and the 15th day of April, 1865, com-
bining, confederating, and conspiring together with one John H.
Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, Jefferson Davis, George N. Saunders,
Beverly Tucker, Jacob Thompson, William C. Cleary, Clement C.
Clay, George Harper, George Young, and others unknown, to kill
and murder within the Military Department of Washington, and
within the fortified and intrenched lines thereof, Abraham Lincoln,
and at the time of said combining, confederating, and conspiring,
President of the United States of America and Commander-in-Chief
of the Army and Navy thereof; Andrew Johnson, now Vice-Presi-
dent of the United States as aforesaid; William S. Seward, Secre-
tary of State of the United States aforesaid, and Ulysses S. Grant,

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 40 of 41)