Vestry of Trinity Church, New York City, New York

At a special meeting of the Vestry of Trinity church, called by the rector upon the arrival of the news of the assassination of the President of the United States, and held at three o’clock p. m., on Saturday, the 15th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:

Whereas, on the evening of the 14th day of April, 1865, being Good Friday, by an assassin as yet unknown, the venerated and beloved President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was suddenly assaulted and slain; and whereas the announcement of that appallng crime has just been made to this community, filling all hearts with a grief, astonishment, and indignation, which cannot be described; and whereas this vestry has been called together by the rector to take such action as, in their judgment, may be fit and becoming: Therefore,

Resolved, That this Vestry, as sharers in the common distress and affliction, unite in the public lamentation over the untimely death of the honored Chief Magistrate of the Union, and, shocked beyond measure at the intelligence which has just been received, remain without words adequate to express their sorrow.

Resolved, That we recognize in this calamitous event one of those visitations permitted by Almighty God, before which a nation can but bow in silence and awe, with the prayer that they may be overruled for the good of our country.

Resolved, That while we regard the act by which our beloved country has thus been, through indescribable malice and fury, plunged into the deepest affliction, [Page 675] as one of those crimes of which no language can adequately paint the atrocity—of which the history of Europe has not for many centuries furnished a parallel; of which our own history has afforded thus far no example, and than which no history presents a more detestable and infamous act to the view; we cannot but hold it to have been dictated by the spirit which, from the commencement of our national troubles has sympathized with the enemies of the public peace, and aided and abetted the rebellion now, as we trust, subdued; a spirit whose tendencies and essential character had previously been manifested in the July riots in this city in 1863, in the attempt to destroy this city by incendiarism in November last, and in the systematic outrages inflicted on our captured soldiers in the prisons of the South.

Resolved, That this Vestry hereby record their tribute of respect to the memory of the late President, with profound sorrow for his loss, recognizing in him a singleness of purpose, an honesty of intention, an ardent patriotism, a fidelity to duty, and a growing mastery of the circumstances of his position, which enabled him, under Providence, to fulfil and bring to successful completion a work almost unprecedented for difficulty; and that in his removal, at the moment in which the labors of his last four years had culminated in the triumph of the national authority, and the evident approach of the blessings of peace, we see the completion of a career which the nation will ever look back to with thankfulness, and hold in affectionate and tender remembrance.

Resolved, That the rector be requested to take order, that the churches of this parish be draped in mourning, in token of our sympathy with the distress and anguish which have been caused throughout the length and breadth of the land by the murder of our venerated and beloved Chief Magistrate.

Attested by order of the corporation of Trinity church, in the city of New York.

  • J. MORGAN DIX, Rector.
  • G. M. OGDEN, Clerk.