A Northerner Responds to the Assassination of President Lincoln

Author:   W. Henry Pearce


Following the shooting, Booth fled to Maryland on horseback. A friend then helped him escape to Virginia. On April 26, two weeks after he had shot Lincoln, the army and Secret Service tracked Booth down and trapped him in a barn near Port Royal, Virginia. When Booth refused to surrender, his pursuers set the barn on fire. Booth was found dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


The news of course, came to all, like a clap of thunder in a clear sky….The first thought on hearing that President Lincoln, to whom we had looked as the leader and even the savior of our nation, had been assassinated, was that all was lost and our country ruined. But…we find in Andrew Johnson a man who…is fitted to the instrument in God’s hand of carrying out His vengeances…the uppermost feeling in men’s minds is “Death to all traitors and sympathizers” there has already been several shot in Cincinnati for rejoicing at the death of the President….I never saw such a day of gloom before…each felt as if he had lost a relative.…

Source: Gilder Lehrman Institute

Additional information: W. Henry Pearce to Lena (Selina)