Municipal Council of Boston, Massachusetts

Proceeding of the city council of Boston, April 17, 1865, on occasion of the death of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.

A special meeting of the city council of Boston, was convened at 12 o’clock this day, by order of his honor Frederick W. Lincoln, jr., mayor, for the purpose of expressing their respect to the memory of Abraham Lincoln, the late President of the United States.

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proceedings of the board of aldermen.

There were present at this meeting, the mayor and all the aldermen.

The hoard having been called to order by the mayor, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:


Whereas, in the providence of God, the shadow of a great grief is now resting on the people of the United States, in the sudden death, by the hand of violence, of their beloved and honored Chief Magistrate, Abraham Lincoln, now officially announced to the city council by his honor the mayor: Therefore, resolved—

That in this early hour of the nation’s bereavement and sorrow, the greatness of our loss cannot be adequately expressed by words, but it is evinced by the unspoken and unutterable language of the heart, and the tears of millions of our loyal countrymen, telling how truly and affectionately he who was from the people, and loved the people, was loved by them.
That we devoutly thank God for the noble work our loved and honored President was permitted to do for the nation, guiding it with consummate sagacity and skill through the most difficult epoch of its existence; that we recognize especially his great wisdom and foresight in issuing his proclamation of emancipation, which will entitle him to the gratitude of the lovers of liberty throughout the world in all future ages, and give him a place in his country’s fame by the side of the immortal Washington.
That we accord to the family of our late Chief Magistrate our heartfelt and tender sympathy in their irreparable loss, assuring them that we cherish as one of our country’s priceless legacies the memory of him whom the nation mourns.
That the atrocious attempt to take the life of our Secretary of State, the honorable William H. Seward, and the assaults on the members of his household have excited the liveliest interest for his preservation, and we trust that his life may long be spared, and his valuable counsels continue to benefit his country.
That we assure President Johnson of our cordial support in the great task devolved upon him by this horrible crime, entreating him to believe that the nation instructed by this last bitter experience, will sustain the government more unitedly than ever in vigorous and effective measures for suppressing a wicked and unnatural rebellion, in meting out justice to all its abettors, and securing the amplest guarantees for peace in all coming time; trusting that he will not pause until every seed of its possible life is destroyed, and our whole country rests on the sure basis of full and impartial liberty.
That, as a proper mark of respect, Faneuil Hall and the City Hall be draped in mourning for the period of thirty days, and that on the day of the funeral ceremonies in Washington his honor the mayor order all public offices, schools, and places of amusement to be closed, and request an entire suspension of business on the part of our citizens.
That a delegation from the city government, consisting of his honor Mayor Lincoln, two aldermen, the president and three members of the common council attend the obsequies of the late President of the United States.
That a eulogy on the character and services of Abraham Lincoln be pronounced before the city government at an early day, and that a joint committee be appointed to make the necessary arrangements.
That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the President of the United States, the heads of the different departments at Washington, and the family of the deceased.

The passage of the foregoing resolutions having been advocated by Alderman Nathaniel C. Nash, with some appropriate remarks, they were unanimously adopted by the board, each member rising in his place.

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The chair having appointed Alderman John S. Tyler and Charles F. Dana as a committee, in behalf of this board, to attend the funeral obsequies in Washington; and Alderman George W. Messinger, John S. Tyler, and Thomas Gaffield, upon the committee of arrangements for a eulogy on the deceased, as contemplated in the eighth resolve, said resolutions were sent down to the common council for concurrence, and the board of aldermen then adjourned.


City Clerk.

proceedings of the common council.

The members of the common council were called to order by the president, William B. Fowle, esq. The message of the mayor having been read, the resolutions adopted by the board of aldermen were then submitted to the common council. Their passage by this branch of the city council was advocated by Messrs. Clement Willis of ward 8, Joseph Story of ward 5, Benjamin Dean of ward 12, and Solomon B. Stebbins of ward 10, who spoke most earnestly and appropriately on the subject. The resolutions were then passed unanimously, in concurrence, each member present rising in his place.

The chair appointed Messrs. Solomon B. Stebbins of ward 10, Benjamin Dean of ward 12, and Moses W. Richardson of ward 11, delegates, on behalf of the common council, to attend the funeral obsequies at Washington, and the president of the common council, together with Mr. Joseph Story of ward 5, John C. Haynes of ward 9, Summer Crosby of ward 12, William D. Park of ward 7, and Solomon B. Stebbins of ward 10, were joined to the committee of arrangements for the proposed eulogy on the illustrious deceased.

The common council then adjourned.