Rufus P. (Rufus Preston) Tapley.

Eulogy of Abraham Lincoln : sixteenth president of the United States online

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Sixteenth President of tiis United States,














4 8
10 1942



R E T j O R T


Committee Rooms, ?own Hall, )
Saco, April :20th, 1865. {
RcFcre P. 1', Esq.,
Dear Sir :

At a meeting of the Committee of Arrangements, it was
TOtod that we tender you our thanks for the Eology pronounced by you up-
on the late Presidentof the United .States, and, in accordance with another
ad a general desire of tho citizen* o : • have the same pub-

lished in pamphlet form for preservation and reference hereafter by the
community, we request, ii convenient and agreeable to yourself , a copy of
the - ime lor publication.

Very Respect fully,

Voui Servants,

Chaikman Oi TBI Cov. 01 Abbakokmknm.

Saco, April 20, 1865.

<r| S r I i Mi N

When on Monday, the 17th inst., :, "i me to pronounce a

eulogy ol the late President of the United States, upon the 17th inst., the
shortness oi time and the great depression of feeling consequent upon the
awful intelligence ol his death, then just received, forcibly impressed me
with the t;rt:a emoarrassment under whii Id undertake the task.

1 then told you, I did not feel at liberty to decline the ro-
ll the sentiments by me <■*] • ision tireineym-
. a itli the feelings ol the <• 1 trust they arc 1 shall cheer-
folly furnish you with h >pyol the earn forpubl ition, trusting the cir-

o under which thej • red some apology

for theii imperfeel I ition.

\ ours, with rosi • I .


e dm mitti I Ira

Friday, the 14th day of April, 1865, at thirty minutes past
10 o'clock P. M., Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presi-
dent of the United States, was assassinated and shot by J.
Wilkes Booth, at Ford's Theatre, in the city of Washington.
He survived the act until the next day, April 15th, and died
at 7 o'clock 22 minutes A. M. An attempt was made to as-
sassinate William H. Seward, Secretary of State, at the same
moment of time, but failed. Mr. Seward was dangerously
wounded by the assassin, and is now recovering.

Upon the receipt of this awful intelligence, which was
communicated by telegraph immediately upon his decease,
the citizens of Saco assembled at the Town Hall and resolved
to close their places of business, and hold a public meeting
at 3 o'clock P. M. of the same day, and immediately report-
ed an organization by the choice of officers, as follows:


r> a. isr i if, i^ s m ith, j i- .








At :J o'clock P. M. the ball, draped with the insignia of
mourning, was crowded to its utmost capacity with a great
mourning assembly. The meeting was called to order by
Hutu- P. Tapley, Esq., who reported the list of officers.
The Chairman of the meeting announced the exercises,
which took place as follows :

Prayer, by Rev. J. T. G. Nichols.

Singing, by Select Choir.

Reading of Scriptures, by Rev. S. J. Evans.
Reading of Resolutions, and remarks,

by R. P. Tapley, Esq.
Remarks, by Rev. J. Windsor, A. F. Chisholm, Esq.,
Rev. O. T. Moulton, Rev. Benj. Wheeler, Rev. E.
Mi rtin, of Saco, and Rev. John Stevens of Bid-
Singing, by the Choir.

Benediction, by Rev. J. H. Windsor.

Th> Resolutions presented by Mr. Tapley, Chairman of
the Committee <>n Res Ives, were as follows:


1st. Resolved, That in the sudden and melancholy death of the Chief
;iatruto 'it' this nati a, the country has lost a Patriot, and Freedom and
Liberty an > nswen • r.

2d. Resolved, That we renew our thanks to Almighty God that while
tlh: nation mourns as lore, behind its cloude of tears we distinctly

r gmize tin' glistening e\ • ■( faith in the success of our cause, and the
rem wed determination "i the people to preserve and maintain tins glorious

Phal tuition mourns it in not disheartened, hut

will trust in tin- same All Wi»e ruler ol events to aid u< in the complete
UHiation "i the ^1 <r . n results opening to our view.

Mr. Tuple} ver I lingly and hopefully addressed the
meeting u ter pi . the resolutions above, as followH :

A patriot, a Christian, and almost a Washington, is dead.
The good, wise, kind-hearted President has been cruelly
murdered. The ruthless murderers have slain their best
friend. A nation is sad — a great nation weeps, mourns
and laments. Its great heart is heaved with sighs ; but be-
hind the torrent of tears there rests a calm, determined con-
fidence and will that cannot be shaken from its purposes by
bloody massacres and savage assassinations. The sorrow,
the anguish, and the pain of this hour rouses the patriotic
heart, and nerves the patriotic arm to unrecorded deeds and
actions, and as sure as God reigns so sure are the institu-
tions of Freedom and Liberty to prevail. It needs but the
tap of the drum to call into line millions of men, defenders
of the right and avengers of the wrong.

President Lincoln is dead. Our leader is slain — yes, mur-
dered ; but still the contest for right goes on. We shall
miss him at every point in the conflict ; we shall miss his
sagacious counsels, his wise, kind, and firm direction ; his
ever ready remedies for emergencies, and his unswerving
integrity. But God, who gave us this leader, and brought
him to the very portals of a perfect Temple of Liberty, will
surely provide another to lead us in. The bright path of
the past will illumine the future, and guide a new defender
to the execution of our hearts' desire.

Sad as we are to-day, there is no cause for despondency.
Overwhelming as is our cloud of sorrow, the sun of eternal
justice sits behind, and will surely break through in glory
and gladness to the patriot, and in shame and sorroAv to the

A holy and just God yet reigns, and through His all-
wise counsels, and the devotion of the brave defenders of
our country in the army and navy, supported by a loyal
people at home, the end is nigh ; and this great calamity
will ever hereafter be regarded as the incontrovertible evi-


dence of the malign spirit of the enemies of a free govern-

Friends and fellow-citizens: We are just entering upon
that Held of the contest which requires the experience and
! i of the greatest and best of men.

V this time, perhaps more than any other, did we seem
* • need the assistance of those men who have been stricken
down; grave questions of internal policy and right must
arise, and they arise upon the heel of heated and sanguinary
conflicts : the contending parties are one people, and one
nation: while the sword brings subjection now, time only
will bring unity, under a just execution of equal and just
laws. To guide and pilot the conflicting opinions of men
upon the future course and policy of this mighty nation at
any time, requires great wisdom, experience, and judgment:
now it requires the greatest foresight, patriotism, and wis-
dom to be found in the country, aided by a truly loyal and
brave people. Every citizen should remember that as the
great waves of the ocean are but drops moving together, so
tin greal sea of public opinion is but the concerted moving
of the private views of the individual: we arc the contribu-
tor - , and bo far each is responsible. As wo love our
country: as we desire its speedy restoration to unity of
feeling ; ae we hope for its glorious future, so let us care-
fully weigh and prudently express our individual thoughts
and feelings.

Grievous as is this great affliction of ours, let none des-
pond. Our reliance is not is man. No losses, no misfor-
tunes, and ii" embarrassments can crush out the sentiment of
liberty dow pervading the great masses of the people. The
conflic! ie Bure to go on until the stars and stripes shall be
the flag of the brave and the /'/>< . and Bhall truly be the Ban-
ner of Liberty.

On Monday fche 17tb, it was announced by the acting Sec-
retary of State, that the funeral services of the late Presi-
dent of the United States, would take place at 12 o'clock
M. on Wednesday. April 19th, A. D. 18(>5, at Washington,
D. C. and recommended a proper observance of the occa-
sion throughout the country.

The citizens of the town immediately assembled, and
chose a committee of arrangements to make preparations
for a suitable observance of the occasion.

The Committee consisted of

James M. Peering, Chairman.
Rufus P. Tapley, Joseph Hobson,

Joseph Hardy,
F. L. Harmon,
0. B. Chadbourne,
Ohadtah Durgin,
F. 0. Boothby,
Cornelius Sweetser.

N. T. Boothby,
Tracy Hewes,
John Gains,
S. P. Shaw,
Jason W. Beatty,
George Parcher.

This Committee subsequently reported the following Or-
der of ExercFs'es, and officers of the day :


Government, State, and Municipal Officers of the Town,
and Citizens generally, will meet at Town Hall, at precisely
half past twelve o'clock, when the exercises at the Hall will

1. Voluntary by the Choir.

2. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Windsor.

3. Reading of Scripture by Rev. Mr. Nichols.

■!. Singing by the Choir; Hymn by Rev. Mr. Wheeler.

5. A procession will then be formed and proceed to Fac-
tory Island, where R. P. Tapley, Esq., will pro-
nounce a Eulogy.

G. Prayer by Rev. Mr. Moulton.


7. Doxology. Selections by Bev. Mr. Evans ; the au-
dience to join in singing.
B. Benediction by Rev. Mr. Martin.

ornc£B.s or the dax.

JOSEPH HOB90N, Pmbidsht.

Hannaniafa Temple, George Scamman,

Jacob Marston,
Abraham Cutter,
David Fernald,
Abel 1 1 > • i -« y ,
James Littlefield,
Eld. John Boothby,
Nathaniel Fernald,
Theodore Tripp,
Oliver Freeman,
Nathaniel Deering.

Daniel Smith, Jr.
James Beatty,
Samuel V. Coring,
Samuel Storer,
William Cutts,
Elias Parcher,
Nathan Hopkinson,
Christopher Shackford,
Charles C. Sawyer,
Joseph Stevens.



I!. L Bowers, R. ( -«- Dennett,

Charles M. Littlefield.


Qwen B. Chadbourne.

Stephen F. Shaw and Ira II. Fobs were appointed Aids by
l.\ the Chief Marshal, with a sufficient number oi Assistants.

The i dci ssion was directed by the Marshal to move at
one o'clock in the following order :

< ivalcade, under the direction of Col. B. J. March.

Paul's Comet Band.

Aid. Cbiep Mabsbal. Aid.


Municipal Officers of the Town ; Government and State

Officers ; Officers of the Day ; Clergymen,

and other Citizens of the Town.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Engine Companies.

Schools, under the charge of their respective Teachers.

Citizens generally.

EOTTE 0£ F&OC£8SX029r.

Prom Town Hall up School to High street ; up High to
Beach street ; up Beach to Main street ; down Main
street to the stand on Factory Island, where the
Eulogy will be pronounced and the other exer-
cises continued as in the order announced.

The procession was very large and preceded by a caval-
cade of one hundred horses, and moved in the order and
over the route indicated to the stand, where a vast concourse
of people were assembled.

The number of persons present exceeded 5,000. The de-
livery of the Eulogy occupied forty-five minutes, during
which time hardly a foot in the vast throng was moved.

The Eulogy was pronounced from a stand erected near the
Eastern Express Office, which was appropriately draped in
mourning, and the Flag of the country extending over the
entire back ground, forming at once a grand and solemn

Mr. Tapley's voice was clear, the delivery solemn and
impressive ; a strong wind was blowing at the time, yet the
audience heard him distinctly in all parts of the vast as-


At the solicitation of many citizens, the manuscript has
been obtained, and is published with this report.

All the places of business were closed, and draped in
mourni ig, \\ i t li most of the dwelling-houses in the village.

The services were very impressive and proceeded unin-
terruptedly, as indicated in the arrangements.

The I ■ | ili of April. 1865, will be- remembered long in "ho
United States of America.


W B ium ma — — — —

- r» «Jwyi T l w \ B—




x^ ♦

afE » !M^ —



' \


"Abraham *§inz#\K,


I5».«rn .!*&-!'.:m, 1609 ; DlKD APRIL 1'tii, I6C6."

Thus is marked the frail enclosure of all that is mortal of
a great and good num. Kings and Emperors, Princes and
Potentates, Heroes and Presidents have gone before, and
kingdoms, empires and nations have wept, hut not as our
nation weeps to-day. Mis great goodness and untimely end
have struck with awful, terrible and unmeasurabie sadness
the deepest wells of emotion and the very foundations of
human sympathy.

When, after a long life of usefulness, a Patriot, a Hero or
a President shakes off his earthly habiliments and is gath.
ored, full of years and honors, as the rip mud sheaf is gath-
ered, to the home of the just and good, we drop the silent,
tear of affection and re3pect, and regarding the end as an
obedience to the stern law that from dust thou art and unto
dust thou shalt return, it leaves no sadness oi' heart and in-
exorable grief. But when one in whom Ave have confided
in hours of great trouble, one on whom we have been accus-
tomed to look as the peculiar agent under God to deliver us
from our dangers and save us from a national dismember-
ment, one whose kindness exceeded all others, is struck down
in the midst of his usefulness, in cold-blooded murder by
the hands of those he tenderly cared for, the deep fountains
of the heart are so moved that we cannot be comforted, and


each returning day brings with it the deep-drawn, heavy
Bigh oi' unutterable sorrow. Words are p iwerless to speak
our l : the tongue is too feeble to express our sor-

row, and time with us too short to efface the remembrance
of this hour. When, Mr. President, you and I shall have
paid the last debt of nature, and hid adien to earthly ambi-
tions and transitory scenes, these little children will remem-
ber the hour, and Badly rehearse to their children the cruel
end of the loved, kind, wise and good Lincoln, and with
them, as with us, the high, enviable position of President of
a great people and nation, will sink into utter insignificance
when compared with the great goodness of his heart, his
love of justice covered all over with mercy, and his unap-
proachable int< grity.

Since God in his all-wise <'<n<\ inscrutable providence has
suffered the enemies of this country to take from us in this
cruel maimer our beloved President, let our prayer be more
earnest, more fervent and continual, that God will save the
United States of America and while we yield to the im-
pulses of nature, and pour out our tears ,){* sorrow like rain,
let u< also be thankful that he was snared to us so lomr.and
was the successful pilot of the Hup of State over so man}'
perilous shoal*.

Abraham Lincoln was horn on the 1 2th day of February,
1800, in Harden county, Kentucky. Ili> father's name was
Thomas Lincoln and his grandfather's name was Abraham.
They were burn in Virginia, but moved into Kentucky in
L780. Here Thomas Lincoln, the father of the President,
lived until 1816, when he removed to Spencer County, Indi-
ana, Abraham being then about seven years of age. Their
ihold goods and his tools wero curried in u flat-boat
made father, assisted bj himself, young as be then

was. Their jourw y occupied some seven days through an
"an:!' i ttry ; their restinj at night b< ing a


blanket spread upon the ground. Immediately after arriv-
ing at the place selected for their residence, they built a log
cabin Having only one room. The loft was young Abra-
ham's room, and was approached by a ladder. During the
year that followed, Abraham gave such attention as he could
to reading and spelling. His mother could read, but his
father could not. During the next year his mother died,
which was a sad event for the young President. He had
been a dutiful son and she a devoted mother, and it is said
that to her may be traced many of those remarkable traits
and characteristics for which he was distinguished in after
life. During this year he learned to write, so that at the
end of the year he was able to write a letter. He was now
about ten years of age. During the next year a small school
was opened in his neighborhood, and he attended upon this
in all about six months, and this comprised all his public in-
structions at schools. He, however, embraced every op-
portunity to add to his limited education. Until he was
nineteen years of age he was constantly engaged in laboring
in the woods. At this time in life he made a trip to New
Orleans in a flat boat, at a pay of $10 per month. In 1830.
being thon twenty-one y cm r.< of age, he moved with his fa-
tner to Macon County in the State of Illinois. Here they
erected another log cabin and enclosed a lot of land with
rails split, out by himself.

The following spring he left home to seek his fortune
among strangers, and went westward into Menard Count v,
and after working on a farm about a year he took another
trip to New Orleans in the employ of a trader, who was so
well pleased with his services that he employed him to take
charge of his mill and store, and in this position it was he
acquired the title of "Honest Abe."

In the year following he served some months in the Black
Hawk war as a captain of infantry. In 18o4 something more



than a y.-ar after his return from the campaign, he was elect-
ed a member of tin- Legislature ami was again re-elected in
L836, l v ;8 and 18-10. While attending the proceedings of
the first Bession of the Legislature, he determined to be-
come a lawyer, and being placed in the possession of the
accessary books, through the kindness of the Hon. John T.
Stuart, applied himseli to study and in L836, was admitted
to practice. In April 1^.57. he removed to Springfield and
became a partner ol Mr. Stuart. In that pursuit he won a
position and reputation at the Illinois bar. second to none.
His mind was eminently Legal. As an advocate he was clear,
COgenl and logical.

In 1846 he was elected to Congress, and during his term
of office he exhibited those remarkable traits of character,
and debating powers which distinguished him in later years.

After the expiration of his term of office he devoted him-
self almost exclusively to the practice of Jaw until 1854,
when he again entered the political arena ; and from that
time until his election as President he was frequently before
the public in the discussion of public matter.-, the most noted
ol' which i> the joint debates with Senator Douglas in L858.

Thus much of his history it may be proper here to men-
tion that we may ha\e some view of the early incidents in
his history, and learn in what school he was taught those
lesson- of wisdom and virtue without which no man can be

Abraham Lincoln was a self-made man. as the term is
sometimes used, which means and in reality is, he was a man
tcrling qualities ol heart and unusual intellectual pow-
ers. Beared in the wilderness, the companion of poverty,
and lai r< moved from the educational privileges enjoyed b\
real mass ol his constituency lie rose to the highest
civil and political position given to man to occupy in this
w orld.

, — ,...., ,i


He became the President of a great Republic, in the hour
of its greatest peril.

A Republican government had been before regarded as a
an experiment. He was called to direct those mighty and
wonderful events which should proclaim to all the world pre-
sent and future that it was a fact. The fathers had died
hoping for its perpetuity, but fearing that in its comprom-
ised construction the seeds of its own dissolution were sown.
Washington warned his children of the danger, and Jeffer-
son trembled in view of the justice of God.

An unexampled prosperity for more than three quarters
of a century had raised us from a few feeble colonies to a
powerful nation of thirty millions of people ; with inexhaus-
table resources at home, and a ready respect abroad, our
flag floated upon every sea and ocean, acknowledging none
as its superior; yielding justice to all, we were enabled to
exact it in return. While thus our relations abroad were
peaceful and harmonious, at home the two antagonisms of
our construction were slowly but inevitably approaching the
comflict for mastery. Webster, Clay, and the great men of
the day, endeavored to avert it, by new compromises and
new guarantees to the weaker element; these served only to
postpone for a brief hour, as it were, the crisis ; we could
not endure ''half slave, and half free." The voice of the
people expressed four years before the election of Mr. Lin-
coln, plainly indicated the predominate spirit of the country,
and the South learned that slaver} r must die or live alone.
It was not the hand-maid of Liberty.

With the choice between liberty with union, and slavery
with disunion, they chose the latter, and during the four years
preceding the election of Mr. Lincoln, the most assiduous,
stealthy and perfidious efforts were made to divide the coun-
try and prepare the foundations of a new government in the
United States, based upon Am°,riecLii slavery: (for all the civ-

i i i i ii nil ii ii ii i 111 in i 111 ii i m i m i m i i — mi Mi nn mm


ilized nations of the earth had forbade the enslavement and
traffic in the natives of Africa.) The army and navy had been
gathered to their nses, and the federal government was
stripped ot all its power except its inherent virtues.

With treason stalking forth all over the land, and made
magnificent by its wondrous proportion and boldness, with
Statu after State renouncing their allegiance to the Consti-
tution and the laws of their country, without army, navy or
treasury Mr. Lincoln succeeded a corrupt, traitorous admin-
istration, and an imbecile, it" not worse, President.

Truly such a position needed more than a Washington,
and when he left his quiet home to assume the arduous du-
ties to which he had been elected, well does he say : -1 feel
that I cannot succeed without the same Divine ;iid which
sustained Washington, and in the same Almighty Bei I
place my reliance foT support."

To meet the great emergencies of such an hour, not only
great administrative abilities were required, but greal sagac-
ity in the selection of moans and the time and the manner
of execution. The civil and the military must be blended
togother, an army and a navy created, and a treasury 'ill d.

Ilow well he fulfilled the great trusts committed to him,
and performed the Herculean task imposed upon him, the his-
torj of the past lour years will over attest, and the great
unanimity of bis re-election will evidence the appreciation ol
an intelligent people of his fitness for this periloi * p< riod
in our country's history.

[Je needs do other eulogy. No brighter paged can be
written for him than the record ol his deed-, and as untime-
ly as his death a halo of glor) surrounds him excelling in
..:: and goodness an) since the day of the father ol'
li! country. I'»\ the side of Washington will his name go
down to tin' I ' i 'ions of men. and unborn millions

>. . *....-

. 1, .».. . .



of every nationality shall read his name and deeds but to
bless him.

He was a man of great intellectual power, and in this par-
ticular history and the future alone will do him justice. He
lived at a time when the events of centuries were crowded
into days. The great, momentous and novel occurrences of
the time absorb, in their comet-like coursa, every thing of a
less attractive nature. A d iv mikes a horn and an hour
unmakes him. The present cannot truly measure them.
The impartial historian, writing their lives after the storm


Online LibraryRufus P. (Rufus Preston) TapleyEulogy of Abraham Lincoln : sixteenth president of the United States → online text (page 1 of 2)