Newspaper from Apr. 17, 1865

"Traitors at Home"

  • Full Title

    Traitors at Home

  • Description

    Article on page 2 of the Monday April 17, 1865 edition of the Cleveland Morning Leader newspaper describing an incident that occurred the previous Saturday afternoon when citizens gathered on Public Square at 3PM to publicly mourn the death of the President by an assassin. J.J. Husband, the architect of the county courthouse on the NW corner of Public Square at that time and likely a Democrat, was heard to say that Lincoln's death was "no great loss." The crown turned on him and ran him out town. A group then chiseled his name off the cornerstone of the courthouse, vowing that his name would never be heard or read again in the city. The article provides details of this infamous event in Cleveland history.

  • Transcription

    Cleveland Morning Leader
    Monday April 17, 1867 p.2

    Eulogists of Murder in Cleveland – How
    they were treated.

    It seems providentially provided for that some villains are fools—so great fools that they parade their villainy before the world. Such was the case of certain traitors in Cleveland Saturday, who were crazy enough to express their joy at the murder of the President, and received therefore some very rough treatment, no more, however, than their just deserts.

    The case of J. J. Husband, the well-known architect, who occupies an office and rooms over Fogg’s store, was most prominent. He was in high glee over the news, remarking to one man: “You have had your day of rejoicing, now I have mine;” to another: “This is a good day for me,” and to a third that “Lincoln’s death was a d____d small loss.” It seems that afterward he became sensible of the danger he had incurred by these remarks, for he came sneaking to the newspaper offices to deny that he had made them. We have, however, the authority of half a dozen reliable gentleman, who heard his remarks, against his unsupported assertion.

    On his way back to his office he was assaulted by the crowd, but escaped from them. His words were repeated from mouth to mouth, and the indignation of the multitude knew no bounds. The crowd searched the building for him, at last finding him on the roof of the building. He was caught, thrown through the skylight into his room, and knocked and kicked down stairs. The mob then set upon him and would perhaps have pounded him to death had he not been rescued by prominent citizens. He was taken to the courthouse and locked up in a room for safekeeping. He broke out and sneaked off during the day, and, we understand, has since left town. He can never show his face again in Cleveland. His name has already been chipped from the place on the court-house where it was cut as architect.

    Another man, named James Griffith, from Hamilton, Butler county, in this State, arrived in town Saturday morning, and on hearing of the news, said to a barber who was shaving him in the Weddell House barber shop, that “Lincoln was a d__d son of a b___h, and ought to have been shot long ago.” Hearing of this the mob started after him. He was taken charge of by Clark Warren and others who carried him to the jail. On the way there, however, the mob got at him and pounded him badly. He is now in jail and ought to stay there for a term of months.

    Another traitor, expressing his joy on Ontario street, Saturday morning, was knocked stiff by a little fellow half his size. Other men of Southern sympathies knew enough to keep closely at home Saturday. Cleveland is an unhealthy place for rebels.

    [Transcription by Deborah Taylor.]

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  • Rights

    Permission for personal and research use; publication and reproduction requires permission from the Western Reserve Historical Society.

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  • Cite this Item

    Cleveland Morning Leader. "Traitors at Home". Cleveland Morning Leader. Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed April 1, 2023.