Sunday, March 22, 2009

26Apr1865, President Lincoln is Murdered

CHESTER, April 26th, 1865.
—Left Lismore soon after 9 ; posted to Fermoy, which was charming ; railwayed to Dublin, where we dined. Were shocked and aghast beyond measure, Fred especially, at the terrible news of the murder of President Lincoln, placarded in the streets. For him one can hardly mourn ; for it is a glorious thing to die at the climax of victory (and this the fall of Richmond brought to him), and with almost his last words those of peace and goodwill. All his conduct showed a noble forgiveness and desire of brotherhood ; and there seems no one capable of carrying out the great work of reuniting the country. Least of all the wretched man who perforce succeeds him : Andrew Johnson, "a mean white," who, on his election to the vice-presidency the other day, made an incoherent drunken speech, and who may very likely think of nothing but blood and vengeance and defiance of Europe. The murder was on Good Friday evening at the Theatre (!), and the murderer leaped on to the stage afterwards, brandishing a knife, and escaped. Almost at the same time Seward, the Secretary of State, was stabbed as he lay ill in bed, and is not expected to live ; and his son badly wounded.

No comments: