Monday, April 16, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Assasination

Even though his presidency was cut short, the United States would likely be a very different place today if Abraham Lincoln had not been president. On April 14th, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth as the President was watching a performance of play called Our American Cousin. Lincoln died early the next day.  Although Lincoln was unaware of a specific danger on this evening, he had received threats and was aware that his life was in danger.

This is a view of the theater where it happened. The car and its passengers seem to have been added to embellish a postcard that might otherwise have been regarded as stark and boring.

This postcard that shows the Lincoln residence in Springfield, Illinois on the day of his funeral. Lincoln's body was brought by train from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois with several stops along the way where he lay in state. The train arrived in Springfield on May 3, 1865. This was the first national commemoration of a president's death by rail.

It was just a few weeks earlier that Lincoln went to meet General Grant in Virginia to discuss the final stages of the Civil War. General Grant and his wife might well have accompanied the President to the performance that fateful night if Mrs. Grant had not insisted on leaving that evening to visit their children in New Jersey.

And here are the backs of the cards in the same order.

 The text of the card, sent to Mrs. Pharis Luckey of Cromwell, Indiana, reads:

Goshen, Ind.
Dear Ma:-
Aunt Sue had to have the Dr. come to the house for Grandma this morning she has congestnig of the lungs. he thinks she will be all right in a short time but Ma she is pretty sick - sicker than she lets us know so if you want to come down you can.

Tell Jim


  1. The second card has such a sad message to accompany the image of the Lincoln home in mourning.
    Do you know anything about the letters that appear in the cancellation on the stamp? I think those are used when the 'regular' circular cancellation hasn't hit the stamp, but I have only just noticed that some of the USA ones have letters in the extra hand cancellation and wondered if the letters relate to the location or something else. Thanks :)

  2. Interesting cards, Christine and posted by you at the right time.

  3. Fascinating postcards and very interesting message!

  4. Lisa,
    Sorry for the delayed reply and thanks for sending me on a fact-finding mission. Otherwise I never would have known that the cancellation letters RMS indicate that the card was sent from the Railway Mail Service. Mail was actually sorted on the rail cars to expedite delivery. The service started to decline in the 1920, but the last Railway Post Office (between new York and Washington, D.C.) operated until 1977.

  5. Christine, thanks so much for looking this up :)
    This will prompt me to get on with the research I wanted to do on the postcard I have with a similar cancellation :)
    thanks again,



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