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    [Abraham Lincoln] Newspaper Archive Relating to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. One of the most often cited key tragedies in American history, and certainly one that weighed heavily on the country trying to emerge from the just-ended Civil War, was the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The country was in shock, just a breath after the relief of ending the horrible war and not yet even thinking about rebuilding the country. This group of rare newspapers of the day provide that unparalleled glimpse into the heart and soul of the country. Nothing can demonstrate the FEELINGS of a city or country at a given moment in time like the pages of a newspaper.

    This is an impressive chronological look at the events from the shooting at Ford's Theater to the trial of Booth's accomplices. These are the original newspapers of the day that recreate in rare fashion the history as it was happening, beginning with the first reports on April 15, the day after Lincoln was shot. These are all the original and very rare newspapers reporting on the unfolding events, and feature one of the most complete chronologies extant today. Pay special note, also, to the selection of newspapers, an amazing cross-section of the major papers in the U.S. at the time, from Cleveland to New York.

    The Philadelphia Press, April 15, 1865: The earliest possible paper extant. The headlines on the day after Lincoln's assassination. Headlines are incredible:
    -"Murder of Abraham Lincoln President of the United States."
    -"Treason culminated in the Foulest of Crimes"
    -"A Skulking Assassin Fires the Fatal Shot."
    -"Probable Assassination of W.H. Seward."

    This paper has typical tears and problems, but on the whole it is excellent. By far the most dramatic one could own.

    Portland Daily Press (Maine), April 17, 1865: The second earliest Lincoln assassination paper in this archive. This one with all columns in black, not all of the front page is devoted to the news because it was so early that the paper had it laid out with ads and as of press time didn't have the time or information for the "stop the presses" approach. Page one had black column rules and NO news, while page two was devoted to the assassination. Obviously, from a historic and collectible approach, the earliest date carries the most weight. Edwin Stanton reports Lincoln's death at 22 minutes after 7 on the 15th....two days earlier than this paper.
    -"Sorrow of the People"
    -"Our National Calamity"

    The New York Sun, April 18, 1865: A bit of staining, fragile but a black bordered, heavy headlined issue:
    -"The Assassination"
    -"The Murderers Not Yet Arrested"
    -"The Victory at Mobile"

    Reports top to bottom on page one on Seward's condition, final war news, etc.

    Cleveland Herald, April 21, 1865: Focused on "Condition of Secretary Seward and his Son..."
    -"The Secretary Able to Sit Up."

    Very interesting headline as papers rushed to beat the deadlines and get the news out immediately. "Arrest of a Man Supposed to be Booth."

    New York Times, April 21, 1865: Complete coverage with the paper in black border (rarity in itself) has articles covering the entire front page about the account of the assassination, the army, the Seward family and more.


    Incredible coverage and very, very early with Booth still at large.

    New York Times, April 28, 1865: Details of the shooting of Booth, full account of the pursuit and his death. All headlines focus on Booth now a week after the headlines focused on the hunt for Booth. Incredible details of the chase and capture and the killing.

    Philadelphia Inquirer, May 19, 1865: Headlined "The Assassins!/Trial of Booth's Accomplices/Yesterday's Testimony" and more. This paper is quite tattered but completely readable and could be dry mounted for preservation and display. Serious and important trial coverage.
    From the collection of Norm Bolotin.

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    December, 2008
    2nd-3rd Tuesday-Wednesday
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