Diary from May. 1, 1865

Abigail M. Brook's Diary

  • Full Title

    Abigail M. Brook's Diary

  • Description

    Abigail Brook, a teacher in Tennessee, recorded the events of her life from 1865 to 1870, including the end of the Civil War and the Lincoln assassination.

  • Transcription

    Abigail M. Brook’s Diary
    Friday, April 14, 1865
    The morning is clean and cool. The air feels a little like fall but it is growing warm and I think it will rain. School and all its’ duties went on very well today. All work and sunshine without storms or squalls. The girls studying Botany together with myself took a walk in Mr. Johnson’s lot after school where we found some wild flowers to amuse ourselves and contribute to our knowledge of plants. The imitable works of the Creator are seen in all things. The delicate limits of the flowers which deck our fields and crown our land with beauty, proclaiming The Hand that made them is Divine.

    Saturday, April 15, 1865
    The day has been bright and pleasant, with the air coolish but no rain. I have not been well as usual. After dinner went by ** Bishop Soude’s** to see Mr. ? a little while. The startling news has been received that Abraham Lincoln died this morning, by the hands of an assassin who shot him in the Theatre. Their act—evidence? The terrible condition in which our country is placed. The deed was done no doubt by a person who had suffered from injustice in some way and the memory of our wrongs goaded him to desperation. “** may be controlled, when they pass the bounds of reason **.”

    Sunday, April 16, 1865
    The day is bright and beautiful. I have spent most of it in writing to my father. I am thinking only of Lincoln’s death. Yesterday they were in the midst of celebrating the surrender of Lee’s army and when in the heighth of their **mirth** there came a shock equal to **Belshazzar’s impious feast when the **hand** writing appeared on the wall. The joy was turned into mourning. The merriment into sadness. **A*ash? and heartless people is politically short-lived: where is the magnanimity which should characterize a great and mighty nation, to be preparing celebrations at the public expense, to exault over a fallen foe.

    Monday, April 17, 1865
    My scholars are all here with the addition of a new one. I am not discouraged in regard to my school, but I feel that the South is the subjects of a relentless foe from whose magnanimity or clemency they may expect-but-little. I fear plans and schemes replete with bitterness, tyranny, and resurpation, will be laid by that deep, dark, scheming man Andy Johnson which will reduce all his foes to the condition of vassals to be governed by the might of conquest and not the laws of humanity.
    Perhaps he may profit by the example of his predecessor, who has characterized his ** -end- by constant acts of tyranny.

    Tuesday, April 18, 1865
    The was is nominally over in the exclamation upon all sides. A hasty peace will be patched up, with a tottering foundation, and war will again deluge our land in blood. If Andy would repeal all these obnoxious acts passed by Lincoln, reversing those Abolition measures on granting to the South her inalienable rights, then would he be received as a benefactor. The dismemberment of the Southern army has not changed the materials of which it is co**pored** and the rebellion yet lives although its prorations are feeble. The task** martens** had better be lenient in their moves.
    Wednesday, April 19, 1865
    The condition of our country is all I have to trouble me now. I think the death of Lincoln at this time is a retributive rebuke to those who were felicitating over the misfortunes of a people whose love of country amounted to enthusiasm, personified who recovered submission to a man who was not their choice and whose name since has election has been a synonym of resurpation, except a short-time time before his death a slight-streak of magnanimity displaced itself after the surrender of Lee’s army, together with terms of capitulation, stipulated by him.

    [Transcription by Isabel H., Larinda Agee's class, Berea Community Middle School]

  • Source

    Abbie M. Brooks Diaries and Church Invitation. Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, GA

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    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.

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  • Cite this Item

    Abigail M. Brook. "Abigail M. Brook's Diary". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed July 9, 2020. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/918