Back to top

"The Consequence," Chicago Tribune, April 17, 1865

Mourning Abraham Lincoln, April, 1865, Thomas Nast engraving, detail
After an emotional editorial praising the fallen President Lincoln in the same issue, the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, under the leadership of managing editor Horace White, wrote another message to its readers outlining in angry tones the consequences of the chief executive's murder. They first give their readers a remedial constitutional lesson on the succession, then express confidence that Andrew Johnson will prove to be a good leader. They then embark on an angry condemnation of "the hell-born outbreak of slaveholding fiends" responsible for the horrors of the past four years. Branding them wedded to slavery, loving "the negro enslaved" but hating "the negro free," the paper condemns their creed as "a crime against human nature." All Confederates and Copperheads are the same and only lacked Booth's courage in not doing what he did. In raw language, the editors declare themselves released from President Lincoln's previous conciliatory approach and join those who demand full and severe justice for the crimes of the Confederacy. (By John Osborne)


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