The Nation in Tears

Image from the New York Philharmonic

NOTE: The author’s math was off a year.


Ten years ago to-day an assassin’s bullet let out the life blood of one of the noblest statesmen that the United States ever had the fortune to possess. Ten years ago, upon that memorable Friday, a people were hurled from the height of joy to the depths of grief. Scarce had the electric wires carried the inspiring words “Richmond has fallen!” from Maine to California, before the same wires were called upon to convey the sad news that J. Wilkes Booth had struck a cowardly, yet fatal blow at the energetic, beloved “Uncle Abe.” We well remember the pall that fell over a grief-stricken people; how strong men wept, and flags hung at half mast. The entire North felt as if it had lost a father, and that too at a moment when he was needed as much, if not more, than at any previous time.

The country, emerging from a cruel and unnatural war, needed such a master hand to guide it safely through the trying scenes which were to follow. But his race was run, his work was accomplished, and he fell at his post lamented by a nation. While the grateful North idolized the care-worn patriot who had steered the Ship of State through an internecene war, the South, though nominally his enemy, could but revere his strict integrity and wonderful executive ability, and each vied with the other in doing him homage as he lay prepared for burial. The 14th of April should be made a national holiday, by which the memories of this great, noble patriot should be perpetuated. It should be placed beside the 22d of February in the affections of a grateful people. While the Union lasts, and while an American citizen shall exist, there will be one page in his country’s history that will have a peculiar lustre and be to him an inspiration to follow the grand example set by Honest Old Abe, and that is the page that tells of Abraham Lincoln. May his memory be always and forever revered.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 14, 1876

Image from PBS



Twelve years ago to-day was a dark, sad day to the United States. On the 14th of April, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, our beloved President, fell by an assassin’s hand and left a nation in tears. He fell when needed most. Though called to preside on the nation’s darkest hour, and having administered well the duties imposed upon him, still after four years his work was yet unfinished. A nation bleeding and torn needed his guiding hand to sooth sectional prejudices and alleviate the heart sores which still bled. Then of all times was Lincoln needed. But the assassin’s hand was not stayed and the un???ing ballet left the destiny of the people in the hands of a traitor. Had Lincoln lived President Grant would not have had to resort to military law to prevent murder and outrage in the South. Nor would President Hayes have found the perplexing Southern question hovering over and embarrassing his administration. The bitterness and hatred incident to the rebellion would have passed away, and to day North, South, East and West would rejoice in a mutual prosperity, brought about by fraternal feelings and industry.

We commend the history of Abraham Lincoln to the young men of our country. He never dreamed when splitting rails or towing a raft down the Mississippi, but one day he should be the leader of a mighty people — one to whom the world looked; but within him was a spirit to do and dare. Mark the result. Hard work, perseverance and honesty were the footsteps which carried him to the dizzy height which he occupied. Every young man can start with the same capital, and though he may not attain the Presidency he can hold a position far above the one he will occupy if his life is spent in debauchery and idleness.

Think of it young men, and determine to be like Lincoln — a leader of leaders. Every young man has a right to choose one of two things: either to be a man or a mouse. Judging from the actions of many we think they will be even very sickly mice. Boys, assert your manhood. Remember that Webster, Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, DeLong, and a host of others known to Nation and State, were poor boys when they started, but by the manly qualities have attained a name that will live long after they shall have passed away.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 14, 1877

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