Newspaper from Apr. 19, 1865

The Feeling in Canada

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    The Feeling in Canada

  • Description

    In this article the emotions of the nation following the death of Abraham Lincoln can be seen in great detail. The aspects of his noble character that won over the public are also mentioned frequently. There is even discussion of why the assassin committed this horrendous deed before questioning why John James Booth killed assassinated the president. His mental health is also questioned

  • Transcription

    Opinion of the Leading Canadian Journal—The Deep Regard and Affection Felt forThe President—The Secessionists Carousing in Honor of the Assassin—A Plea for The Murderer—His Crime Justified.

    From the Toronto Globe.


    At twenty-two minutes after seven o’clock, on Saturday morning, about nine hours after he had received the shot of the assassin, ABRAHAM LINCOLN drew his last breath, surrounded by the members of his family, his Cabinet, and leading political and personal friends. His death would, under any circumstances, have produced an extraordinary sensation, but accompanied by murderous violence, the feeling which has been created has been the most intense. No single event of the present century in America can at all compare with it in effect on the popular mind, and we think that in England the shock will be nearly as deeply felt. The grief which is expressed has two very distinct origins, the stronger of which seems to arise from personal sympathy and regard for the deceased. We hear in all quarters the strongest expressions of admiration of the character of Mr. LINCOLN, and deep sorrow that his noble career should have been brought to an untimely end. His simplicity of charafter [character[, his straightforward honesty, his kindliness, even his bluntness of manner, seem to have won the popular heart, even among a foreign, and, in matter of opinion, a hostile nation. We may judge by that fact of his popularity among the citizens of the Northern States. Almost all of us feel as if we had suffered a personal loss. Mr. LINCOLN is spoken of in the same terms as are used toward a familiar friend. All mourn his untimely fate. He had risen by industry, ability and integrity to the great position of Chief Magistrate of his country. He found it in the most imminent danger, and his power to control the elements which were sweeping over the land were far from generally acknowledged. He was regarded with fear and trembling by the friends of his government, and with contempt by his opponents. But steadily he made his way. He was not the best man who could have been imagined for the post of Chief Magistrate in a great civil war. He had not the commanding force which infuses energy into all around him, and his public appearances were often lacking in dignity. But he was sagacious, patient, prudent, courageous, honest and candid. If he did not inspire great Generals, he gave every man in the army an opportunity of developing the talents within him. He recognized merit and rewarded it. He placed confidence, as a rdle [rule], where it was due, and he had his reward in great military successes. Some say that he has been cut off at a favorable moment for his reputation but we cannot accept this view. It seems to us that he had gone through his worst trials, that his patience, sagacity and honesty would have borne even better fruits in the settlement of the affairs of the South than during the wild commotion of the war. He has been cut off at a time when, certainly, he had accomplished a great deal, but leaving much undone which he was well qualified to do. A naturally strong man, of only fifty-six, he might have hope to live many years after finishing his work as President, in the enjoyment of the respect and admiration justly due to one who had saved the life of his country. He will be held, we think, by Americans, if not equal to WASHINGTON, second to none but he. But he had not the gratification of his great predecessor, of seeing his work completed and enjoying for a long period the gratitude of his countrymen and the admiration of strangers. There are few so hard of heart as to not shed a tear over the sudden and bloody termination of so bright a career. As great as WASHINGTON in many moral and mental qualities, his genial character was calculated to win far more popular sympathy than his predecessor. Ability and honesty all admire, but when to them are added kindliness, simplicity, and freedom from selfishness, haughtiness and pride in high position, they win love as well as respect.

    From the Toronto Leader

    A man may, on the spur of the moment, be so maddened with rage as to strike another down to the earth; but if the accounts which come to us of this distressing affair are correct, the attack upon both Mr. LINCOLN’s and Mr. SEWARD’s lives were concocted some time prior to the inauguration ceremony on the 4th of March, and only failed of accomplishment because one of the parties in the plot lost heart to carry out the scheme at that time. Would that he had never found it again! The act was not committed without due time for reflection as to its awful nature. For over a month the plan remained unacted upon in the bosom of its author, and time seems but to have added to the burning desire to carry it out. There must have been a strong feeling on the part of the person who committed the crime that a grievous wrong had been done, either to himself or to his country, by the President or the government he represented. Had a Southern man, during the four years of the war, taken the life of the President, there would be no difficulty in tracing it to a cause. We cannot so soon forget the numberless acts of wickedness committed in the South by the servants and emissaries of the Northern Government; the beautiful homesteads leveled to the ground with demoniacal fury; the fair women violated by a ribald soldiery; the brave men shot down in the coldest blood on the insane plea of retaliation—all this and much more is still fresh in our memories, and serve to remind us that if the assassination had been committed in the heat of the war by a Southern man, who had so much to drive him to desperation, a reason for his conduct could readily be found. In the present instance these considerations do not help us to discover the cause of the assassination. That the deed was committed by JOHN WILKES BOOTH, a brother of EDWIN BOOTH, the celebrated actor of the present day, there seems to be little doubt. But why should he make himself the champion of the Southern people or the Southern cause? He must have been goaded almost to the verge of madness. No man of ordinary nerve or trivial impulse could have jumped into a private box at the theatre, as he did, calmly shoot down the object of his wrath, then spring on the stage uttering words which serve to give a clue to the act of assassination, and ultimately find his way through the theatre to a place of escape. The man who could have done all this, must have considered that his chances of escape were very few indeed, and that, if need were, he was ready to give up his own life for that which he had taken. There is desperation in such a thought—such a desperation as is caused by a deep consciousness of wrong-doing on the part of the persons against whom it is conceived.

    The feeling in Montreal
    MONTREAL, Tuesday, April 18.

    The following proclamation has been issued by the Mayor of Montreal:
    Whereas Wednesday next, the 19th of April inst., at noon, has been fixed upon for the funeral ceremonies of the Chief Magistrate of the United States, the undersigned, Mayor of the City of Montreal, respectfully invites the citizens generally to close their places of business from 12 o’clock noon on that day, as a tribute of respect to the memory of the late President of the United States, and of sympathy with the bereaved members of his family, and also as an expression of the deep sorrow and horror felt by the citizens of Montreal at the atrocious crime by which the President came to an untimely death.
    (Signed) J. L. BEAUDRY, Mayor

    Arrival of Gen. Lee in Richmond.
    The Richmond Whig of yesterday says:

    Gen. R. E. LEE arrived in this city about 3 o’clock Saturday evening, attended by five members of his staff. He rode into the city over the pontoon bridge at the foot of Seventeenth-street, and thence up Main-street to his residence on Franklin-street between Seventh and Eighth-streets.

    [Transcription by: Deborah Taylor.]

  • Source

    THE FEELING IN CANADA. (1865, Apr 19). New York Times (1857-1922) Retrieved from

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    This item is in the public domain and may be reproduced and used for any purpose, including research, teaching, private study, publication, broadcast or commercial use, with proper citation and attribution.

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    Toronto Globe . "The Feeling in Canada". New York Times. Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed July 19, 2024.