Portsmouth Reacts to Lincoln Assassination
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Written by Seacoast NH Archive

361_Lincoln00SeacoastNH.com Presents
Historic Portsmouth #361

Among the most historic of early Portsmouth photos is this fuzzy image. It shows crowds gathering in Market Square following the death of President Abraham Lincoln immediately following the end of the Civil War. Bells rang all day, flags were lowered, and merchants shut up their shops. The Navy Yard closed for five days. (Continued below)


On April 17, 1865, two days after Lincoln’s assassination, former New Hampshire governor Ichabod Goodwin presided over a public meeting, seen here. Dignitaries assembled on a platform in front of the Portsmouth Athenaeum draped with “mourning emblems” and a picture of the slain president. One sign read: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” On Wednesday, two days later, as many as 1,400 locals marched through town in a column that stretched half a mile. A 14-foot long float drawn by six black horses carried a funereal structure with a gambrel roof supported by columns. As many as 3,000 residents stood silently during an outdoor ceremony to honor their fallen leader. Assassin John Wilkes Booth was still at large when, two days after the Portsmouth parade, Lincoln’s body left Washington, DC for a 1,700 mile train ride back to his home state of Illinois. (Photo courtesy of the Portsmouth Athenaeum)



READ: Assassin Engaged to Seacoast Woman

READ: Portsmouth Trashes Copperhead Newspaper



Image (c) Portsmouth Athenaeum on SeacoastNH.com