Diary from Apr. 15, 1865

Clara Barton's Diary

  • Full Title

    Clara Barton's Diary

  • Description

    Clara Barton, who in 1865 was directing the Missing Soldiers Office answering families' pleas for information on their loved ones, responded with few words to the Lincoln assassination. The Missing Soldiers Office was located three blocks east of Ford's Theatre. In few words, she described the confusion that Washingtonians felt after the event and the anguish that she felt, both over the death of the president as well as the death of her nephew the previous week–sometimes conflating the two.

  • Transcription

    Friday, April 14, 1865

    Assassination of President


    Was returning from a call at

    Mr. Upperman’s when it was

    Rumored on the street.

    Saturday, April 15, 1865

    President Lincoln died at

    7- o clock this morning

    the whole city in gloom

    no one knows what to do

    Dr. Sidney came

    Vice President Johnson

    Inaugurated President

    Sunday, April 16, 1865

    Assassins not detected.

    Known to be J. Wilks Booth,

    The attempted murder of Mr.

    Seward + family was sup-

    posed to be by one Surrat-

    I was quiet all day.

    Monday, April 17, 1865

    Attempted to offer some help

    Went to Surg Genl office

    Could get no one.

    The President embalmed in

    Preparation to be laid in state


    Mailed 100 letters

    Tuesday, April 18, 1865

    President Lincoln laid in

    State—dept went in bodies

    To see him. Resolutaions passed

    at the Mars rooms in

    Honor of the President and

    Commemoration of poor Irving

    Fannie not returned –

    Heard this evening that

    The assassination of Mr. Seward[?]

    Had been arrested at –

    2 o clock this morning

    - dressed as a laborer, on HE st –

    Borrowed some tables to write on

    Wednesday, April 19, 1865

    Funeral of President Lincoln

    I remained in doors all day.

    Thursday, April 20, 1865

    President lain in state

    At the capital

    Sally + Fannie + Vester

    Return from Mas.

    Poor Bubby is at rest –

    Friday, April 21, 1865

    President Lincoln remains

    taken on to Baltimore

    great search for Booth -

    [Transcription provided by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum.]

  • Source

    Library of Congress, Clara Barton papers, MSS11973

  • Rights

    This item is in the public domain.

  • Tags

  • Cite this Item

    Clara Barton. "Clara Barton's Diary". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed February 24, 2024. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/997