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Abe Lincoln is assassinated... One of the most desired titles...



Item # 643188

April 15, 1865

NEW YORK TIMES, April 15, 1865 

* Abraham Lincoln assassination (1st report)
* Ford's Theater - John Wilkes Booth


Not only this event but this title remain among the most desired by collectors; a very significant event in American history reported by one of the most respected newspapers in the country.
The first column heads tell it all: "AWFUL EVENT" "President Lincoln Shot by an Assassin" "The Deed Done at Ford's Theatre Last Night" "The Act Of A Desperate Rebel" "Details Of the Dreadful Tragedy". One can only imagine the horror of finding this report in the morning paper at a time when the nation should have been in celebration of the end of the Civil War.
The report has much detail with various timed dispatches as the news arrived in the newsroom. The first dispatch has Lincoln as still being alive: "The President was shot in a theatre tonight, and is, perhaps, mortally wounded. Secretary Seward was also assassinated." The "second dispatch" goes on with some details: "...The theatre was densely crowded...During the third act & while there was a temporary pause for one of the actors to enter, a sharp report of a pistol was heard, which merely attracted attention but suggesting nothing serious until a man rushed to the front of the President's box, waving a long dagger in his right hand, and exclaiming 'Sic semper tyrannis" & immediately leaped from the box...to the stage beneath...The screams of Mrs. Lincoln first disclosed the fact to the audience that the President had been shot...all present rose to their feet...many exclaiming 'Hang him! hang him!...cries were heard: 'Stand back & give him air.'...It was found that the President had been shot through the head above & back of the temporal bone, and that some of the brain was oozing out...The President was in a state of syncope, totally insensible & breathing slowly...The parting of his family with the dying President is too sad for  description..." with more.
This is followed by several additional reports, the latest with a dateline of  "Midnight" reading in part: "The President is reported dead. Cavalry and infantry are scouring the city in every direction for the murderous assassins...Who the assassins were no one knows, though every body supposes them to have been rebels."
There is a small black-bordered item on the editorial page noting: "The events of last night in Washington will strike with profound horror the whole American people. At this moment of writing, we have only a partial announcement of the facts, and have neither the date nor the spirit for comment."
There were two editions of this date, by far the more common being the issue which had Lincoln still alive as they went to press. This later edition, which includes the report of his death, is rarely found.
Complete in eight pages, never bound nor trimmed. This issue is in a state just as sold on the streets, not having been trimmed & bound into an institutional binding. In very nice condition with a bit of foxing near front pages fold. Likely one of the nicer condition issues we have offered of this significant newspapers.

Category: Yankee

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