Municipal Council of Manchester, New Hampshire
Mayor’s Office, April 18, 1865.
Gentlemen of the City Council: Abraham Lincoln, President of these United States, died at Washington on the morning of the 15th instant, between the hours of seven and eight o’clock.
The death of the great and good must always bring sorrow to the heart; and when the honored Chief Magistrate of a great nation—one who, through all the trials and vicissitudes of such a four years’ experience as our country has never before seen, has labored and waited, watched and endured, patient and serene alike under the malignant attacks of enemies and the mistaken zeal of friends; pursuing at all times and under all circumstances the even tenor of his way, looking to Heaven for his guidance and the promotion of the best welfare of the whole country as the end to be sought—when such a man and at such a time is suddenly stricken down by the ruthless hand of the assassin, well may the great heart of the nation throb with an anguish too terrible for words to express. The anchor of our hopes at such a time is trust in Almighty God.
That President Lincoln was eminently fitted to guide the ship of state through the stormy period of the past four years must be apparent to all. His abiding faith in the final triumph of our government over rebellion was wonderful. Even in the darkest days of the struggle, when some of the wisest and best of our statesmen were almost if not quite ready to abandon the contest, he never faltered nor wavered; but, strong in the might of a holy cause, and firm in his reliance on a righteous God and the great heart of the people, he pressed steadily on till the prize for which he labored, peace and union, was almost within his grasp. But while his eyes saw it, his hand was not permitted to grasp it; he has been taken from us and gone to his reward.
In view of this great national bereavement I think it fit and proper that we should place upon our city records, in some form, an expression of the feelings which I believe animate the hearts of all our citizens.
D. J. DANIELS, Mayor.
The communication of his honor the mayor was read and referred to a joint special committee, who subsequently reported the following preamble and resolutions:
Whereas Abraham Lincoln, the President of the United States, has suddenly been removed from the scene of his earthly labors by the hand of an assassin; and whereas we desire to place upon the records of our city some expression of the feelings which animate the hearts of our citizens: Therefore,
Resolved, That we deplore his untimely death as one of the most stupendous calamities which has ever befallen the nation.
Resolved, That by this sad event the country has lost a sagacious and enlightened statesman, an incorruptible magistrate, a benefactor to the friendless and unfortunate, a pure and devoted patriot, and an ardent defender of the rights of man.
Resolved, That in the assassination of President Lincoln we recognize the same malignant spirit which struck down Charles Sumner upon the floor of the [Page 669]United States Senate; that has driven free thought and free speech from every rebel State; that planned and inaugurated this unholy rebellion; that spilled the first martyr-blood in Baltimore; that starred and tortured our prisoners of war, and that has destroyed the lives of the noblest and best of the land.
Resolved, That while we would reverently bow in meekness before the Supreme Ruler of the universe, who has suffered this great affliction to overtake us, we declare our undying hostility to treason in all its forms, and our solemn determination to maintain, at whatever cost, the Union established by our fathers and the Constitution of the United States.
Resolved, That we will ever cherish the memory and emulate the exalted virtues of our late beloved and illustrious President, and, like him, we will labor to effect the removal of the cause of slavery from the land and establish freedom to all, of whatever race or color, that the unity, the peace, and the glory of the republic may be secured and perpetuated.
Resolved, That we have an abiding confidence in the ability, the integrity, and the patriotism of Andrew Johnson, who, by the decree of Him who doeth all things well, has been called to the presidency of the United States; and, in view of the great responsibilities he assumes and the trials he may encounter, we extend to him our warmest sympathies, and pledge to him our unfaltering support in consummating the patriotic designs and in the completion of the just and beneficent work of his lamented predecessor.
Resolved, That the intelligence of the murderous assault on the honorable William H. Seward, Secretary of State, awakens in our minds the most painful anxieties, and we ardently hope that his life may be spared, and that the nation may continue to be blessed by his great experience and profound statesmanship.
Resolved, That copies of these resolutions be sent to the President of the United States, the heads of the several departments at Washington, and the family of the deceased.
In common council, April 18, 1865. Passed unanimously.
In board of mayor and aldermen, April 18, 1865. Passed unanimously.