Diary from Aug. 26, 2015

Reverend Leonard Francis Smith

  • Full Title

    Reverend Leonard Francis Smith

  • Description

    Reverend Leonard Francis Smith was a Methodist preacher appointed to the Girard, Illinois, circuit at the time of Lincoln's death. He traveled to Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, Illinois, two days after the assassination and observed the collective mourning. Smith also held a service in his church the day Lincoln's ceremonial burial service was held in Washington D.C. In his diary, Smith recalls these events and comments on the progress of the hunt for Lincoln's killer and the person who attempted to murder Secretary of State, William H. Seward.

  • Transcription

    April 1865

    [continued from previous page] W R Constant & Christian Commission Annual Report. Another dona-
    tion. 2 dresses for wife 7.85. J C Drake donator. Prayer meeting.
    Lovely day for the first in sometime. Things are growing some.

    Friday 14 This is Good Friday & tenaciously observed by some
    as the time for planting potatoes & other roots to have a good
    crop. This is the day the redeemer was led to Cavalry & suffered
    in our stead. The just for the unjust that he might bring us to
    God. Sure such an event is fraught with great importance to us &
    should make a deep impression on our minds & consciences. Am free
    to confess it does not today have that regard it was worthy of.
    Pardon me, O Lord. Busied myself in writing & reading today. Took
    some shoulder & potatoes to W Morris. It is now raining.

    Satruday 15 Sat night & I am yet alive. Have performed most of
    the duties of the day & evening. Attended Masonic Lodge. Felt de-
    pressed on account of the sad news reached us of the death of
    Abraham Lincoln & Secy Seward. Lincoln attended a theatre last
    night & was shot through the head & died this morning. Seward was
    murdered in his bed. It was the secessionist work. They are dirty
    devils. What a suddn unsuspected affair. Sold 1 bush. and a half
    of potatoes to Aylsworth & Kendalls. Bot sugar $1. Sent letter to
    Father in law. Paid out to treas. of Lodge 95¢. Rained today.

    Sunday 16 Easter Sunday. Christ the first fruits of them that
    slept arose from the dead. A pledge of our Resurrection. Though the
    skeptic & materialist may deny the resurrection of the dead, etc.
    yet the testimony of the Apostles & his appearances at different
    times is sufficient evidence of his being resurrected. Over 47 at
    S S this a.m. in Wmsville. Recd of Mother Aylsworth 35¢ on papers.
    35 of Keagle for Golden Chain; 35 of Drakes for Chain. Covers &
    J Constants each dr for Chain. Let Schliffe at Bices have Chain &
    Quest. Book 15¢. Broughtons, Chain 35. Hickmans, G T, dr to Chain
    35. Coll. at Wmsville 5.75. Bices S H large turn out. Recd one into
    church, Mary Waters. Miss. Anniversary. Raised 6.05. Joanna Ramey,
    Mary Miller & Eli Blue went to Bices with me. Lovely day indeed.

    Monday 17 Visited Springfield this day. Most all the stores &
    businesses as well as many private residences were draped in
    mourning. The people everywhere are speaking of the great loss, &
    the people are nearly as a whole sad at the loss of so great a man
    as Abraham Lincoln. He sleeps in death. Secy Seward who was re-
    ported dead is still alive & probably will recover. Bot Journal
    with all the particulars 10¢. Bot at Kimbers me a hat 3.25. Corsets,
    gaiters, trimming etc. hoop skirts, veil, -----& comb amounting in
    all to 24.70. Paid Kimber 2.50 owed before . Bot halter stem 75¢.
    Fare on R R 1.80. Bot envelopes & stamps for Lodge. Sent summons
    to Cantrell, Thompson, Canterbury, McLeod, Mitter, Lawrence & Winn.
    Ramey brought us bag of flour 20lbs. Oranges 60¢. Lovely day.
    Windy. Rain at night. Home in the rain & mud.


    April 1865

    Thursday 18 Lincoln, brave, honest & great. Abraham Lincoln is
    dead. He died a martyr. Yea he lived to set menfree. He rests from
    labor. His body will shortly be buried. His memory will be cher-
    ished through the future ages. He was the country’s friend. Has
    fallen. The wretch is not as yet captured. Vengeance will yet over-
    take him. Good news. Mobile is ours. Johnston negotiating. Recd
    dispatch from Elkhart inviting me to officiate tomorrow. Signed
    D L Dana. Letter from Jesse K. Sent letter to George Smith, Rev
    Simms, P Cartwright. Recd 75¢ of C Brest & $2 quarterage, Sister
    Purce;$10 donation of Wm. Mount. Beans of Council. Paper 10¢.
    Planted beans & potatoes. Quite warm. Rain 8:30.

    Wednesday 19 Today the citizens of the town & country assembled
    in our church to commemorate the burial of Abraham Lincoln at
    Washington. Services were opened by reading from 2 Sam 1:17 and
    Psa 46. Then singing & prayer, then sketch of his life, the speech
    by Jacob Beck, then singing, then Bro Todd spoke. Took text. Then
    I read his Farewell Address at Springfield. Then a little talk &
    resolutions which were adopted by all save a few Copperheads.
    Church was draped in mourning. Recd sub. to Central, Fletcher
    Council, & 2$ through Bro Laucke. Had some eggs etc. exchanged.
    Set a hen. Paid Olsen $5 which pays till June 26. Recd letter etc
    Planted some corn. Quite summer like. Peaches are out in blossom.

    Thursday 20 The supposed assassin of Seward caught. Should be
    hanged up till dead, dead. Sent letter to Capt J B Jenkins, Baton
    Rouge. Indebted to Lodge 72.00 & 61/2 yrs interest. Bot stamps 25¢.
    Sent letter to Mason, Bloomington. Recd one from Kittie Lowe & $10
    in it. Were aroused at 3 a.m. by neighbors. Pickerell Bices store
    & two dwelling were burned by some incendiaries. Planted corn,
    beets, squashes, butter beans, cymblings [cabbage sprouts] and
    transplanted some hemp. Prayer meeting. Dr Winn joined on Prob.
    & Langley & wife by letter. Rained by spells some today.

    Friday 21 Fasting primitively was regarded by the Saviour as
    essential to the casting out of stubborn devils or dumb spirits.
    The directions for fasting were important. Examples worthy of
    notice in reference to fasting are given us. The blessed Master &
    his Disciples & Apostles fasted often. We do not fast as often now
    since we do not have such humble views of ourselves as we ought to
    have. Since we are not as holy nor as useful. Letter from Rev
    Gooding. His babe died. Circular Syrian Lodge No 333. Bought sugar
    (white) 4 lbs $1. Coal oil 1. per gal. Recd 35¢ for Chain. Bot
    Tribune 10¢. Put some cucumber seed in the ground. Heard opening
    sermon at the Presbytery. Rev Marcus, Micah 7:7. Bro Bishop Haller
    supped with us. Rained by times all day.

    Saturday 22 Lamentations 3:26: It is good for man – Dr Cartwright
    preached at 11 a.m. from that text to small assembly at Yocums S H
    Dined at Wm Yocums. Quarterly Conf. Recd of Wmsville this quarter
    $28, 4. already allowed; of Fancy Creek 37. quarterage & 5.00
    Donation; & $11 for potatoes; of Yocums 9.00; of Wolfe Creek


  • Source

    HC.00190 - Reverend Leonard Smith Diaries Collection

  • Rights

    Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by Michigan State University and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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  • Cite this Item

    Reverend Leonard Francis Smith. "Reverend Leonard Francis Smith ". Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections. Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed April 22, 2024. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/851