Document from May. 1, 1929

Mary Sheehan Ronan Memoir

  • Full Title

    Mary Sheehan Ronan Memoir

  • Description

    In her memoir, Mary Sheehan Ronan recalled celebrations of the Lincoln assassination among her Confederate-sympathizing friends in Virginia City, Montana, followed by an upbraiding from her father.

  • Transcription

    News, only a little belated, of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln came in by Pony Express. The little girls who were my particular friends and playmates were all the children of Southern parents. They had reawakened in me all the prejudices that were mine because of my Kentucky birth and because of association with my Missouri cousins. It pains me to recall what we did when we were told of Lincoln’s death. The news reached Virginia City in April 1865. It was noon. We girls were in the schoolhouse eating our lunches, which we sometimes carried to school with us. The Southern girls, by far the majority, picked up their ankle-length skirts to their knees and jigged and hippity-hopped around and around the room. They cheered for the downfall of that great, good, simple man whom they had been taught to regard as the archenemy of the South. They believed him the first and last cause of any and every misfortune that had befallen their parents and driven them to seek new fortunes amid the hardships of a far western frontier. When my playmates called, “Come on, Mollie, come on join the dance; you’re from Kentucky; you’re a Southerner!” I did join half-heartedly, with a guilty feeling. At home that evening I told what we had done. My father was shocked. “I am ashamed of you, Mollie,” he said, “I am a Democrat, but I am first, last, and always for the Union and for Lincoln.”

  • Source

    Montana Historical Society Research Center

  • Rights

    Use of this item for research, teaching, and private study is permitted with proper citation and attribution. Reproduction of this item for publication, broadcast, or commercial use requires written permission of the Montana Historical Society.

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  • Cite this Item

    Mary Sheehan Ronan, told to Margaret Ronan. "Mary Sheehan Ronan Memoir". Montana Historical Society. Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed April 22, 2024.