Abraham Lincoln's Funeral


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 6, 1865

The May 6, 1865 Edition of Harper's Weekly includes a touching portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, and his son Tad.  This issue was published shortly after President Lincoln's Assassination, and includes incredible historical content on Lincoln, the Assassination, Reconstruction, Lincoln's funeral, and news of a mourning nation. 


Abraham Lincoln and his Son Tad Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln and His Son Tad

Pacification of Confederate States

Pacification of the South

Lincoln Funeral in New York

Abraham Lincoln's Funeral in New York

Abraham Lincoln Funeral

Ford's Theater

Ford's Theater

President Lincoln's Dead Body

Abraham Lincoln Lying In State

Abraham Lincoln's Funeral Procession

Abraham Lincoln Across Street from Ford's Theater

Abraham Lincoln on His Death Bed Across from Ford's Theater

Abraham Lincoln in White House Green Room

Abraham Lincoln Lying in State in White House East Room





[ MAY 6, 1865.


I WENT to gather heart's-ease

When the bright sun sank to rest,

Drawing all his sheaves of sunlight To his garner in the west.

When the blossoms and the leaves, Losing all their golden glow,

In the slowly gathering twilight,
Faintly flutter'd to and fro.

All the ground was starred with May-blooms,

Every where they met my eye ; But I went to gather heart's-ease,

So I pass'd all others by.

Oh ! my heart was ne'er so joyous

As it was in those glad hours When I wandered light and careless

Near the wood-side gath'ring flowers.

Then I gave them all to you, dear,

And I looked up in your face, And I wonder'd I could fancy

That the flowers had any grace. Then it was I gather'd heart's-ease,

Then it was, dear heart, I found That the glory of the May-blooms

Did not lie upon the ground.


NEVER, was King or Emperor honored with such obsequies as those with which our Republic has laid to rest its greatest hero. It was not the pomp of the procession, not the splendor of the funereal rites, that gave character to the touching ceremony, but the infinite tenderness and love of a great people. It was the sorrow in every heart that moved each outward expression of affection. It was the universal grief so heavily draped our streets. Not only the mansions of the rich, but the squalid hovels of the poor put on the habit of mourning. The reward which the Republic gives to its faithful servants is not alone that the people have raised them to the seat of honor, but that when they fall in their country's cause their principal monument is the people's love.

The funeral ceremony proper took place at Washington on the 19th of April, at the White House. The remains of the President lay in the Green Room, in a metallic coffin. On each side of the coffin were four silver handles, with stars between, a vein of silver winding around the whole cast in a serpentine form. This rested upon a canopied catafalque, and was decorated with wreaths of moss and evergreen, with white flowers and lilies intermingled. Around the catafalque, at noon, were gathered the family of the President, the officiating clergymen, the delegates from New York City, the heads of Bureaus, representatives of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, the Governors of several States, the Assistant Secretaries, a large number of Congressmen, officers of the Supreme Court, and the Diplomatic Corps.

Reverend Dr. HALL opened the services by reading from the Episcopal service of the Dead. This was followed by an eloquent and affecting prayer by Bishop SIMPSON of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This portion of the service was most touching. At the close of his fervent appeal to the throne of Grace the Bishop repeated the Lord's Prayer, in which the whole audience joined as with one voice. The effect was sublime beyond any power of words to express, and the whole audience was melted to tears under its effect. Reverend Dr. Gunther, the pastor of the church which the President and his family were in the habit of attending, preached the funeral discourse. The service was closed with prayer by Reverend Dr. GRAY, chaplain of the Senate.

The procession started from the White House at 2 P.M. and proceeded up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol amidst the tolling of bells and the firing of minute-guns. The funeral car was carried up the steps of the Capitol, beneath the very spot where, six weeks before, the President had delivered his second Inaugural, and into the Rotunda, where the body was removed from the car to an-other catafalque, where a second service was read. Here the procession dispersed, leaving the remains of the President in the Rotunda, where they were open to view the next day.

A little before seven o'clock on the morning of the 21st the remains were escorted to the depot of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Lieutenant-General GRANT followed immediately after the hearse. At ten o'clock the train arrived at Baltimore, and the coffin was laid in the Exchange for three or four hours, when the train started for Harrisburg, where it arrived in the evening. The next morning (the 22d) the cortege proceeded to Philadelphia, where the body was laid in Independence Hall and exposed to the view of thousands.

On the 24th New York city received the remains of the President. The scene upon the route from the ferry-landing at the foot of Desbrosses Street, and at the City Hall, where the body was laid in state, was inexpressibly solemn and impressive. Early in the morning crowds of people gathered in the City Hall Park, and waited there for hours in order to obtain a view of the features of their departed hero. This scene was only exceeded in solemnity by the procession of the following day—the largest that ever thronged the streets of the great metropolis. It started at one o'clock P.M., proceeding up Broadway to Fourteenth Street, through Fourteenth Street to Fifth Avenue, and thence through Thirty-fourth Street to the Hudson River Railroad Depot on the way to Springfield, Illinois, where the President is to b buried.

Among the many tributes to President LINCOLN one of the best was that paid by HENRY WARD BEECHER in a discourse delivered on the 23d. The following extract we quote as appropriate to the funeral ceremony :

And now the martyr is moving in triumphal march, mightier than when alive. The nation rises up at every stage of his coming. Cities and States

are his pall-bearers, and the cannon speaks the hours with solemn progression. Dead, dead, dead, he yet speaketh. Is WASHINGTON dead? Is HAMPDEN dead? Is DAVID dead? Is any man that was ever fit to live dead ? Disenthralled of flesh, risen to the unobstructed sphere where passion never comes, he begins his illimitable work. His life is now grafted upon the infinite, and will be fruitful, as no earthly life can be. Pass on, thou that hast overcome ! Your sorrows, oh people, are his paeans ; your bells and bands and muffled drums sound triumph in his ears. Wail and weep here ; God makes it echo joy and triumph there. Pass on ! Four years ago, oh Illinois, we took from thy midst an untried man, and from among the people ; we return him to you a mighty conqueror. Not thine any more, but the nations ; not ours, but the world's. Give him place, oh ye prairies ! In the midst of this great continent his dust shall rest, sacred treasure to myriads who shall pilgrim to that shrine to kindle anew their zeal and patriotism. Ye winds that move over the mighty places of the West chant his requiem ! Ye people, behold the martyr whose blood, as so many articulate words, pleads for fidelity, for law, for liberty !"


" I DONE her up, beautiful as she looks ; and ain't 1 she a real lady too, Mrs. Murphy ? I done her all up !" So whispered old Dark White to her neighbor, as, setting down her basket of clothes, piled high like so much new-fallen snow in a great white drift, she stood, arms a-kimbo, on the stoop of the many-storied tenement-house where she dwelt, and gazed after a carriage rolling away through the rosy mist of a soft spring sunset.

Her black hood had fallen back, showing a face of fifty-five or sixty, tanned by sun and wind, and with some gray hairs in the locks about the fore-head, but comely enough still to show what a pretty woman she might have been ere toil and time had laid their hands upon her. And as long as the carriage was in sight she stood perfectly motionless, her arms akimbo, her black eyes glittering, drinking in the picture with an ecstasy not to be ac-counted for, gorgeous as was the equipage and lovely as was the lady who reclined upon the scar-let cushions. When it was quite gone she picked up the basket, and mounted to the attic where she dwelt with a step which as yet had nothing in it of age or decrepitude. Mrs. Murphy looked after her with a grin. "Old Dark is clane crazy about Miss Hamilton," she said to herself or some invisible familiar. "I'd not break me heart an' wear me life out for any lady's white dresses. She'll have a stroke some day sitting in the sun kapin' the very dies off thim whilst they dhry. Och, the fulich crayther ! An' she ridin' past without a look or a nod. Done her up ! Much she cares for that, Dark White!"

But whether the lady cared or no, poor Dark, up in her garret-room, was busy for her still at her laundress craft—not for love of pelf. That grew strong when other people's clothes were the tub or on the hoard; but with pure pleasure in her work—as the poet writes his tenderest sonnet for his lady's ear - as the musician's song is sweetest beneath his Lulcinea's balcony—so did Dark White "do up" Miss Hamilton's white robes and dainty frills and sleeves to a more perfect pitch of snowy purity than those of any other customer. It was her way of showing adoration. Now, with her charcoal at a ruddy glow, she set to work ironing, polishing the muslin with a dainty touch, folding and crimping and fluting with artistic care.

" There ain't a lady in the land done up nicer," she muttered, indulging in her inveterate habit of talking to herself. " And there ain't a lady more a lady. I seen the gentlemen look after her, and the ladies whisper: Oh, she's as pretty as a picture, jest as pretty !"

If Dark White loved beauty it seemed a pity she should not have more of it about her. Her garret home was high and bleak. The paint, such as it had been, worn away from the dormer window casings. Without that window glimpses of chimney-pots, and an occasional cat or two, and the sky-light on somebody's roof. Within, four walls, or rather three and a half, for the ceiling sloped low on one side, leaving barely two feet between its termination and the floor; two strips of rag-carpet, a black bureau, on which reposed an old Bible, on the fly-leaf of which was recorded the birth of Dorcas White—Dorcas being the original name of the washer-woman, though custom had converted it into " Dark"—and four chairs. Add to these a clock, two candlesticks, and something in a frame which casual observers always took at first sight to be a bronze jug, but which proved on inquiry to be a paper profile of the late Mr. White, cordwainer, and you have the entire contents of the apartment, which, in addition to being attained by the most break-neck flight of stairs ever manufactured, was miserably hard to warm in winter. Yet Dark had lived there ten long years, for two reasons : firstly, there was in the back-yard what the laundress called "a good drying ;" and, secondly, it was only a few blocks distant from the aristocratic region where the Hamiltons' mansion reared its marble walls. To be near that, to see the heiress at times roll past in her carriage, to go softly out after night and hear the floods of music and see the gleams of light from the windows, and now and then when it was warm to distinguish through those open casements the voice of Charlotte Hamilton, were pleasures the old woman would have relinquished much for. If ever humble heart shined an idol the heart of old Dark White so enshrined the beautiful heiress. It had been so since the latter was a child. Twice a week for eighteen long years Dark had opened the servants' door of the great house with a familiar hand, and-with her basket of linen poised on one hip toiled slowly up the velvet-covered stairs and tapped at a door. Then waiting and listening she would hear the cry, " Come in, Dark !" and a glow would pass over her face as though lamplight had fallen on it for an instant.

.   At first the voice that cried, " Come in, Dark!"

was the voice of a young child just able to talk. Then it was a girl's voice. Now it was a woman's, musical and mellow. Always it was just as sweet to poor Dark's ear. Tonight as the clock struck ten the white drift was polished and the basket brimful. And Dark looked out of her window.

"It's fine," she said, "and I'll take 'em over now. I'd like to see her afore I sleep. It makes me feel good."

And tying on her hood she took up her burden and departed. Down the clean but shabby street, along a better one, and theta suddenly into the magnificent avenue where the stone-walls and the porch columns were half draped by clinging festoons of vines and bunches of purple blossoms. The Hamiltons' house was the handsomest of all. And as Dark crept in at the servants' door she wondered, as she always did, at the quiet splendor. She was half afraid to set her foot on the rich coverings of hall and stairs, they were so different from the bare planks, or the bits of rag carpet she was used to. But they must be trodden to reach Miss Hamilton's room, so she went on and up, and tapped upon the panels of the boudoir with her soaked and spongy knuckles. There was no answer. Dark listened and sighed. "She ain't here," she said. ` She's jest gone somewhere; well, I'll leave the things and go, only 'twould ha' been good to see her." And opening the door she entered. As she did so a young lady turned with a start from the mantle against which she leaned with a letter clutched in her hand and something very like tears in her eyes.

"Oh, Dark, I didn't hear you !" she said, hurriedly; " you've brought the things home?"

"Yes, Miss Lotty," said old Dark, "and I've done 'em up lovely, though I say it that shouldn't. See how white and sheer them sleeves is ! and this gown. I have such luck with your things always —more'n with most folks."

"You take pains with them, Dark—that's the reason," said the young lady. And then she looked ardently into the distance, and tears came into her great eyes. She was thinking of something beside the linen in that basket. The old woman watched her intently ; her fingers knitted themselves together ; her eyes grew anxious. At last she spoke, " Miss Lotty—"

The young lady looked up with a start—" Well, Dark."

" Oh, Miss Lotty, I'm a makin' bold; but you haven't any ma, and I've done you up for the hull of your life ; and, poor washer-woman as I am, I'm fond o' you. And when you was a child me and you was friends, and you told me your troubles. I've mended dolls for you, and I've washed their things, and I've seen the time when you've put 3-our arm round nay neck and said, `Dear Dark !'—I have ; and I can't help, Miss Lotty, when there's tears in your eyes, and you're so pale, askin' you to tell old Dark what ails you, and beggin' to be let to do something if I can."

A flush passed over the girl's face, and then the tears burst forth unchecked, and she sobbed out-right for a moment.

"I am in some grief, Dark," she said. " At least I fancy I am; but it's all nonsense, I dare say. No real trouble—nothing you could under-stand. I'm neither ill, nor has papa scolded me. I think Dr. Jalap would call ate hysterical ; but thank you—you're a good soul, Dark." These words were not spoken before she had choked down her sobs and dried her eyes, and now she stood tall and straight before old Dark and tried to smile. It was a vain effort. Dark knew it. "Ain't there nothin' I can do?" she said.

"No, Dark. As I told you, it is nothing you could even understand."

Old Dark turned to go. She gave one step to-ward the door, and then turned back, caught the little snow-white hand with rose-tinted finger-tips, and pressed it to her lips. " Good-night, Miser Lotty," she said, " and God stand between you and grief. Good-night !" Then with her empty basket she went home, and there, by the dim candle-light, stood before that odd paper profile, which looked to strangers like a bronze jug, the profile of the late Silas White, shoemaker, and gazed at it intently. "Ah! "she said, mebbe Dark White might understand more than some thinks she can. A girl's heart is much the same rich or poor. Ah dear, how the time goes ! I was young once, though I never was a lady !" And then she put her candle out, and went to bed.

But Charlotte Hamilton never slept at all. Up and down the splendid boudoir she paced all night long with that letter in her hand; her black hair unbound ; her bosom heaving beneath the folds of lace and muslin which veiled it. Over and over again she sobbed forth a name and clenched her jeweled fingers until the almond-shaped nails cut into the soft palm. And once she sobbed aloud,

" Charley, I can not, can not give you up!" When the gay dawn broke she sat down beside her rosewood desk to write. Thrice she begun—thrice rent the paper into fragments and laid down her pen.

At last these words remained upon a snowy sheet which she folded and placed within an envelope directed to " Charles Gordon :"

"If you think I write these words without pain you are mistaken. If you think my heart is changed you err; but my father's will is law—I must obey him. Yes, nest Charles ; I have no choice. Yet in that cruel, cruel letter which you have received I have no part. If he has said to you, as I know he has, that a Miss Hamilton has, no right to stoop, that you are beneath me, believe that I would have felt honored by your love. If he has told you alto that I will soon become the wife of another man, lie has presumed too far upon his powers, and upon my love and obedience. I will neither wed against his will the man I love, nor at his bidding one whom I detest. Farewell, Charles, it is hard to bid you forget me; bet for both of us to remember will be too sharp a pain, and so I write the words—forgot me and be happy.

" CHARLOTTE HAMILTON " The letter was sent; and that night, when the long rows of lamps glittered like jewels along the stately avenue, Dark White crept up the broad staircase once again, and stood in Miss Hamilton's room.

She was dressing for a ball, and the white robes

she wore by choice rather than silks or velvets, and the pearls in her black hair arid about her rounded wrists and at her throat, made her look like a bride. Dark told her so ; and at that she laughed a little bitterly. "And when you are married," said Dark (if it's in the grandest church in New York), " I'll come to see it ; and I'll think, standing there, I done her up, and as long as I've got two hands I'll keep a doin' of her up, if she'll but let me. But I didn't come for that Miss Lotty. I've a message—" " A message, Dark—from whom ?"

She had turned from the glass, and stood with her hands full of the long ropes of pearls she was binding in her hair.

" From a gentleman in sailor's clothes, Miss Lotty —a tall gentleman with light hair—not like a sail-or in his looks at all. No doubt I don't understand it. There's a many things a poor old body like me needn't understand. But he asked me did I know Miss Hamilton. Says I, ' I do, Sir. I've done her up since she was a baby, Sir.' Says he, `I have a letter for her that must go safe. Can you give it to her without any one else knowing of it?' Says I, ' Ay, can I, Sir.' So he gave me this,"—and from under her shawl she drew a tiny note—" and then he went away. He was a handsome man Miss, and young and brave and good, I'm sure, and very sad, Miss, like as if his heart was broke a'most."

Charlotte Hamilton caught the note from the wrinkled fingers of the washer-woman, and, as she did so, dropped the ropes of pearls upon the floor. her foot would have crushed them as she pressed forward to the light, but that Dark stooped and picked them up.

She read the lines again and again, and then crouched down lower and lower, and hid her face in the cushion of her foot-stool.

Old Dark, in her patched calico and black hood, bent over her. " Miss Lotty ! oh, Miss Lotty, dear ! Dark thinks she understands. A heart's a heart, rich or poor, Miss Lotty; and he's one to have heart's love given him."

Then Charlotte Hamilton lifted her tear-stained face and looked at Dark.

" Did you ever wish to be rich, to live in a house like this, to be of a high family ?—did you ever envy great folks, Dark ?" she said.

" The Lord forgive me ! many and many's the time, Miss Lotty."

"Oh, Dark, never do it again ! I wish I were the poorest girl alive! I wish I were your daughter, helping you o'er the tubs day after day ; for all this wealth, and style, and grand family-name have stood between my life and happiness. Because I am Miss Hamilton I must be wretched!"

And then, without any apparent reason, Dark White began to tremble from head to foot, and to wring her hands and moan, and panted out, breathlessly, " Oh Miss Lotty, dear, don't say that, or else you'll break my heart. It's a dreadful thing to be poor. It is, indeed, Miss Lotty."

She was so troubled, so woeful, that Charlotte Hamilton stilled her own grief to soothe her. Two hours afterward the heiress was moving through the dance in her white robes and glistening pearls, and no one guessed that she was miserable—not even the wealthy lover on whose shoulder her white hand rested in the mazes of the waltz. But Dark, with no eye upon her save that of God and his holy angels, sobbed softly by her attic window, and be-moaned her darling's sorrow.

So Charles Gordon was far upon the sea, with every prospect sacrificed, and no thought but to fling his life away. And Miss Hamilton moved through society as decorously as ever ; and dressed as well, and smiled as much, and sang as often. Yet the girl's heart was the sorest, as it always is. And Dark White the washer-woman only knew that it was so—not Mr. Hamilton; not Percy Miles, of the everlasting smile and the eternal fashion-plated costume, who came a wooing under the father's favor ; not Argus-eyed society, ever on the look-out for gossip. But at last there came a time when the calm was broken. Percy Milos made an offer of his hand and heart, and was re-fused. That day Mr. Hamilton called Charlotte to his study.

He was pale and stern. He laid the letter she had written on the table, and said,

" Charlotte, I have not sent this yet ; I will not. Think again."

" I have thought," she said. " I will never marry him."

"Not if I command you to do so ?"

"You will not, Sir, for I could not obey you.. At your command"—and here her voice faltered—" I refused the man I loved. I will live and die single at your bidding, but I can marry no one else."

Then Mr. Hamilton, rising, took her hand in his. All her life long she never forgot his look or his voice.

" Charlotte," he said, " I owe you a duty. I beg you to marry this gentleman-- not for my sake—for your own. Listen to me. I am oa the eve of bankruptcy. I can not ward it off for many weeks. Marry Percy Miles, and a luxurious bone be yours for life, and I shall be at peace. 1 would not have thwarted your girlish fancy but for this knowledge. Be sensible now, and write a different answer."

For a moment Charlotte stood stunned and bewildered ; then she put her arms about her father's neck.

"Papa," she said, "I will stay with you, share your poverty, work fur you if I can, but hover marry Percy Miles, not though he were a king."

The old man only untwined her anus from his neck.

" I have warned you," he said. " Oh, girl, girl, you little know how low Percy Miles stoops when he offers you his hand !"

" Poverty can not lower John Hamilton's daughter," said Charlotte, proudly. ` You have taught me that, papa."

" John Hamilton's daughter!" he repeated, with a sort of sneer. "All, well, 1 have dune my duty. I have warned you. Do as you please."

And standing beside her, he watehed her reseal




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