people of that section even shared, to a certain degree, in the lamentations over the bier of one whom in their inmost hearts they knew to have wished them well.
There was one exception to the general grief too remarkable to be passed over in silence.
Among the extreme radicals in Congress, Mr. Lincoln
's determined clemency and liberality toward the Southern
people had made an impression so unfavorable that, though they were naturally shocked at his murder, they did not, among themselves, conceal their gratification that he was no longer in the way. In a political caucus, held a few hours after the President
's death, “the feeling was nearly universal,” to quote the language of one of their most prominent representatives, “that the accession of Johnson
to the presidency would prove a godsend to the country.”
, with this singular exception, the manifestation of public grief was immediate and demonstrative.
Within an hour after the body was taken to the White House
, the town was shrouded in black.
Not only the public buildings, the shops, and the better residences were draped in funeral decorations, but still more touching proof of affection was seen in the poorest class of houses, where laboring men of both colors found means in their penury to afford some scanty show of mourning.
The interest and veneration of the people still centered in the White House
, where, under a tall catafalque in the East Room, the late chief lay in the majesty of death, and not at the modest tavern on Pennsylvania Avenue, where the new President
had his lodging, and where Chief-Justice Chase
administered the oath of office to him at eleven o'clock on the morning of April 15.
It was determined that the funeral ceremonies in Washington
should be celebrated on Wednesday, April