The Death of Lincoln

A “4 o’clock A. M.” edition of the April 15, 1865, Chicago Tribune announced the “Terrible News” that the “President Is Dying.”

"Terrible News"

"Terrible News" from Chicago Tribune (graphic treatment)
Chicago: Tribune Company, April 15, 1865
Newberry A6 .169

Shortly thereafter, Walt Whitman penned the first of his elegies to Lincoln, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” Whitman wrote, “I mourn’d—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.”

"When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom’d"

Walt Whitman, "When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom’d" from Drum Taps
New York: 1865
Newberry Case Y285 .W5941

In February 1865, Mary Livermore and Jane Hoge convinced President and Mrs. Lincoln to attend the Northwest Soldiers’ Home Fair in Chicago. Rather than welcoming Lincoln back to the city where he had been nominated for the presidency, however, the fair, held that May, became a tribute to his memory. The inaugural issue of the Voice of the Fair, printed two weeks after Lincoln’s assassination, described the entire nation as “draped in mourning” over the fallen president, the “Savior of his country.”

Voice of the Fair

Voice of the Fair
Chicago: Northwestern Sanitary Fair, 1865
Newberry Case oversize F 8345 .94 v. 1