Inquirer 4-21-1865

Transcript (excerpt):

Ten Thousand Dollars Reward Offered for the Arrest of Booth

Proclamation of Governor Curtin.

Harrisburg, April 20.- The following proclamation was issued today:-

In the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Andrew G. Curtin, Governor of the said Commonwealth:-

Whereas, it is rumored that J. Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln, has, within a day or two, been seen in Pennsylvania, now, therefore, I, Andrew G. Curtin, Governor as aforesaid, do hereby offer a reward of ten thousand (10,000) dollars to be paid to the person or persons who shall apprehend said Booth within this Commonwealth, so that he may be brought to justice; and said reward to be paid immediately after the necessary appropriation shall have been made by the Legislature.

Given under my hand and the great seal of the State, at Harrisburg, this twentieth (20th) day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred an d sixty-five (1865) and of the Commonwealth the eighty-ninth (89th).

By the Governor.

Eli Slifer

Secretary of the Commonwealth


Citation: Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, 21 April 1865. Gift of Steven and Susan Raab. AN.P5446


John Henry Brown was a painter of portrait miniatures, living and working in Philadelphia. He had met Lincoln in August of 1860 when he was commissioned to paint Lincoln’s portrait for a supporter, but although Brown liked Lincoln personally, he did not agree with Republican policies.




Nothing unusual this month to record about the family or my business. At work each day. The month an eventful one in the history of the country, on Monday the 3rd we received news of the fall of Richmond, Va which caused great excitement and general rejoicing. On the 10th received news of the surrender of Gen: Lee with his whole Army to Gen: grant, it produced the wildest excitement and joy, it is regarded as the virtual closing of the War. Great preparations are being made for a grand illumination to take place on Monday evening next, in honor of the many Victories, won by our armies lately, but more especially in honor of that great and bloodless one gained by Grant over Lee. Grants easy and generous terms to Lee & the Presidents approval of them is producing a kindness of feeling amongst all classes which goes far to strengthen the hope of an early peace. I have lately said nothing in this Journal about the War, preferring to wait the development of events. On Saturday morning the 15th we were startled by the shocking news that the President was shot last night about 10 Oclock at Fords theatre, Washington City, by J. Wilkes Booth a rebel Sympathizer. The President lingered unconsciously through the night and died about 7 Oclock in the morning. It is impossible to convey in language the least shadow of the depth of sorrow this news has created. Strong men weep like children. The whole City is in mourning. Every house has exposed the emblems of death. On Wednesday the 19th, the day of the Presidents funeral, all business was suspended the places of worship were all opened for service at 12 Oclock.

For his own glory Mr. Lincoln could not have died at a better time—“He fills a Patriots grave and wears a martyrs crown.” He is now canonized and will henceforth stand by the side of Washington in history.

Time works wonders, little did I think, when I painted Mr Lincolns picture, less than five years ago, that he would ever become so great and ever so loved.


Citation: John Henry Brown, autograph journal/account book. Philadelphia, 1844-1890. AMs 573/14.1



Navy Department

Washington, 19th Apr. 1865

Com. J.B. Montgomery

Comdr. Navy Yard

Washington. D.C.

Until otherwise ordered, permit no persons to see (or hold communications with) the prisoners confined upon gunboat without a pass signed jointly by the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy. Give this order to officers of the vessel without delay.

Gideon Welles

Secy of the Navy


Citation: Gideon Welles (1802-1878), telegram to John B. Montgomery. Washington, D.C.; 19 April 1865. AMs 476/19


Inquirer 4-18-1865

Transcript (excerpt):

Page 1, Upper and Lower Halves

Special Dispatches to the Inquirer

Washington April 17, 1865.

The Assassination of the President

Every hour passing goes to prove that the assassination of President Lincoln and Cabinet … originated with the Knights of the Golden Circle, the same plotters who designed last fall to revolutionize the great West by murdering the Governors of the States of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, &c.

Booth’s Conduct of Late.

For two months he has appeared to be greatly occupied with something, something that weighed heavily upon his mind, and of so large a magnitude that he would not disclose it to his most importunate and intimate friends. Among his companions he was often silent, and when talking frequently absent-minded and wandering. The hideous crime he had in contemplation and which he had sworn to accomplish, was the cause.

The Murder Fixed for the 4th of March.

The fourth of March was fixed originally for the assassination, and Booth was on the ground, but either through fear of not being able to effect his escape or because of the failure of his accomplice to meet him at that time, the attempt was not made.

The Assassin Lies in Wait.

He is now known to have waited for the President on that day, on the embankment near the north wing of the Capitol, close to which Mr. Lincoln would pass.

Citation: Philadelphia Inquirer. 18 April 1865. Gift of Steven and Susan Raab. AN .P5546


Inquirer 4-17-65 p1


The Assassination

From a distinguished officer in the army, who was sitting near the President’s box at the time of the assassination, we have received the following interesting statement:-

Account of a Distinguished Eye-Witness.

On the night of Friday, April 14th, 1865, in company with a friend, I went to Ford’s Theater, arriving there just after the entrance of President Lincoln and the party accompanying him. My friend and I, after viewing the Presidential party from the opposite side of the dress circle, went to the right side and took seats in the passage above the seats of the dress circle and about five feet from the door of the box. During the performance the attendant of the President came out and took the chair nearest the door.”…

“…The house was still, the large audience listening to the dialogue between “Florence Trenchard” and “May Meredith,” when the sharp report of a pistol rang through the house. It was apparently fired behind the scenes upon the right of the stage and behind the President’s box. While it startled everyone, yet it was evidently accepted by everyone as an introduction to some new passage several of which had been introduced in the early part of the play. A moment after, a man leaped from off the box directly down, nine feet, on the stage, and ran rapidly across, bareheaded, and holding an unsheathed dagger in his right hand, the blade of which flashed brightly as he came within ten feet of the opposite exit.

In the gaslight, I did not see his face as he leaped or ran, but I am confident that he was the man I saw enter. As he leaped he cried distinctly and aloud the motto of the State of Virginia-“Sic simper tyrannis.


Citation: Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, 17 April 1865. AN .P5546



Navy Department

16th April 1865

On Monday fire a gun in honor of the late President each half hour from sunrise to sunset. Keep all flags at half mast until after the funeral. Officers will wear crape. General orders by mail.

  Gideon Welles

Secretary of the Navy



Citation: Gideon Welles (1802-1878), document signed. [Washington, D.C.]; 16 April 1865. AMs 476/19



Transcript (excerpt):

Important Announcement by the Secretary Stanton-Drafting and recruiting in the loyal states is to be stopped-purchases and expenses to be curtailed-military restrictions on trade to be removed.

Washington, April 13, 1865.-To Major-General Dix, New York.- This department, after mature consideration and consultation with the Lieutenant-General upon the results of the recent campaign, has come to the following determination, which will be carried into effect by appropriate orders, to be immediately issued:-

First. To stop all drafting and recruiting in the loyal States.

Second. To curtail purchases for arms, ammunition, Quartermaster and Commissary supplies, and reduce the expenses of the military establishment in its several branches.

Third. To reduce the number of general and staff officers to the actual necessities of the service.

Fourth. To remove all military restrictions upon trade and commerce so far as may be consistent with the public safety.

As soon as these measures can be put in operation it will be made known by public orders.

Edwin M. Stanton

Secretary of War


Citation: Philadelphia Inquirer. 14 April 1865. Gift of Steven and Susan Raab. AN .P5546


AMs 354-13-2 Mary Lincoln to Schuyler Colfax 300



Mr. Colfax

Dear Sir-

Since sending you my note, I have found that Gen Grant’s staff will not be seated with him, therefore, with much pleasure, I will send the carriage at 7 o’clock.

Truly, Mary Lincoln


Citation: Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882), autograph letter signed to Schuyler Colfax. Washington, D.C., 13 April 1865. AMs 354/13.2


AMs 354-13-1 Mary Lincoln to Schuyler Colfax 300



Thursday Morning

Hon. Mr. Colfax

My Dear Sir:

It appears to have been arranged (without Mr Lincoln’s knowledge, that you were to accompany us to the theatre this evening) that Gen Grant & staff were to occupy the box usually assigned to us, therefore, I shall have to waive all ceremony & request you to accompany us some other evening soon.

With kind regard to your family, I remain very truly your friend

Mary Lincoln


Citation: Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882), autograph letter signed to Schuyler Colfax. Washington, D.C., 13 April 1865. AMs 354/13.1


AMs 358-11 p1 U.S. Grant to John Gibbon


U. S. Military Telegraph.

Apl. 11th 1865

By Telegraph from Burke Station 1865

To Maj. Gen. Gibbon Appomattox, Va.

Owing to the excessive state of the roads I think you had better load your supplies so far as possible on the Captured Trains and move them up by rail as you progress. Returning the same means of transportation might be used. I expect you will find the captured trains too weak to bring back all the artillery, arms, etc. If so destroy the caissons and such small arms as can not be moved. Leave wagons for the country people to pick up and double team so as to send back the artillery and as many of the wagons as you can loaded with small arms.

U. S. Grant

Lt. Gen.

Citation: Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), autograph telegram signed to John Gibbon. Burke Station, Va.; 11 April 1865. AMs358/11