Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

At Albany not less than fifty thousand people visited the capitol to view the remains, which were escorted by an imposing procession of soldiers and civilians to the dépôt of the Central Railroad. At four o’clock on the evening of the 26th the train left for the West. At Utica, at Syracuse, at Rochester, at Buffalo, and at every village along the route, crowds of people were assembled. At seven o'clock on the evening of the 27th the train reached Cleveland, where a procession was formed, religious services were held, and the remains were exposed to public view. Similar ceremonies attended the arrival at Columbus, and at every point of the route, through Indi ana, the same great demonstrations of popular interest and sorrow were observed. At Chicago the most extensive preparations had been made for the reception of the remains. On the 1st of May, as the train approached, minute-guns and the tolling of bells signalized the event. The great multitude stood with uncovered heads as the coffin was borne, between the open ranks of the military, under the magnificent Gothic arch, which had been erected across Park Place, and placed upon the funeral-car. Thence it was escorted, by thousands of those who in life had known Mr. Lincoln best, marching in procession, to the Court-House, where the remains lay in state, and were exposed to public view. Thousands upon thousands flocked from the surrounding country to look upon them. Fresh flowers, the sweet offerings of woman's love, from time to time were strewn upon the coffin. Sad strains of , music gave voice to the public woe. Addresses were made, eulogies pronounced, and in every way and by every form the great city of his own State sought to tell the world how much she loved and revered the memory of her illustrious son. On the 3d of May the President's remains reached Springfield, which, for so many of his active years and before the nation claimed him, had been his home. They were escorted to the State House, borne into the hall of the House of Representatives, which had been appropriately decorated for the occasion, and placed upon a catafalque prepared for its reception. All day and all night long the streets of that quiet town resounded with the footsteps of the thousands who came to look upon the corpse of him they loved as a neighbor and friend, and whom they now revered as foremost among the mighty martyrs of the earth. In the morning minute-guns were fired—and, as a choir of two hundred and fifty voices sang “Peace, troubled soul,” at ten o’clock the coffin was closed forever. The remains were then placed in the hearse, the procession moved, under command of MajorGeneral Hooker, to Oak Ridge Cemetery, and there, while the choir sang “Unveil thy bosom, faithful tomb,” the sepulchre received to its final rest all that was mortal of Abraham Lincoln. Religious exercises were then held, Bishop Simpson pronouncing an eloquent and appropriate funeral oration, and Rev. Dr. Gurley, of Washington, making a closing prayer.

Thus closed the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln. As the condition of the country during his Administration made him the most conspicuous figure in American history, so did the circumstances of his death give him a sad and terrible isolation. It was the first time that assassination had sought to aid, or avenge, a political cause in the United States, and nothing but the terrible fever of civil war could have engendered a crime so abhorrent to the American character and the genius of republican institutions. The investigation which the Government at once set on foot, and prosecuted with the utmost vigor, proved that the abduction and assassination of Mr. Lincoln had been the topic of speculative conversation, in various portions of the rebel States, for some months previous to its execution. It did not appear, however, that the deed was done by direct procurement of the rebel authorities, though it was made more than probable that the agents whom they kept in Canada, and supplied with large sums of money, for what they styled “detached service”—meaning by that phrase enterprises of robbery, murder, and arson, over which they vainly

[merged small][merged small][graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »