The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

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April 19th was the 151st anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The train carrying his body left Washington on April 21, 1865 and arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday April 30 where his body laid in state in the old state capitol building throughout the day. Reportedly, over 50,000 mourners viewed his body. Many countries joined with the United States in formally mourning Lincoln’s death, flying their flags at half-staff. The Ecuadorian, Argentine, Mexico and other governments ordered their employees to wear mourning for the period. The province of Buenos Aires in Argentina even named their redistricted province Lincoln in honor of our slain President.

President Andrew Johnson, who assumed office after the assassination, and the U. S. Government received hundreds of letters expressing shock and sympathy from every corner of the globe. Governments, city councils, citizens’ groups, social clubs, religious organizations, boards of directors, veterans’ organizations, and private citizens wrote letters of condolence. These letters are part of the State Department Foreign Relations series. In 1866, the Government Printing Office compiled these letters in a book:

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln, late president of the United States of America : and the attempted assassination of William H. Seward, Secretary of State, and Frederick W. Seward, Assistant Secretary, on the evening of the 14th of April, 1865 : expressions of condolence and sympathy inspired by these events

The Indiana State Library has a copy of this volume as part of our Federal Documents collection.

The book is also available on-line at: