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"The Great Calamity," Chicago Tribune, April 17, 1865

Mourning Abraham Lincoln, April, 1865, Thomas Nast engraving, further detail
The editorial board of the Chicago Tribune published its immediate and passionately dismayed reaction to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 17, 1865. The piece was probably penned by managing editor Horace White who had first met Abraham Lincoln in 1854 and, as a young reporter, had covered the debates with Stephen Douglas for the Tribune. Noting the coincidence of the Good Friday tragedy with that of Christ's death on the cross, the writer goes on to evoke religious connections from the Bible, both New and Old Testaments. He then makes a remarkable case for Lincoln's goodness, kindness, and patriotism, telling supporters of the Confederacy that they had murdered their best friend, the only man who could restrain all northern calls for vengeance and retribution. He concludes that there is "no one, not one" person able to fill the "Chair of State" as Abraham Lincoln, the "second Father of his Country" filled it and repeats that his death is a calamity for all Americans. (By John Osborne)


How to Cite This Page: ""The Great Calamity," Chicago Tribune, April 17, 1865," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,