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[627] The greatest personal calamity that ever befell a nation fell on ours. Never was there so sudden change from joy to grief pervading all hearts, and faltering upon every tongue, as when Abraham Lincoln died by the hand of an assassin on Saturday, the 15th day of April.

The event was officially communicated to the Legislature by Governor Andrew, in a message, on Monday, the 17th; the opening paragraph of which was as follows:—

In the midst of exultations of recent and repeated victory, in the midst of the highest hopes of the most auspicious omens, in the hour of universal joy, the nation passed at once, by an inscrutable and mysterious providence, into the valley of the shadow of death. Assembled while the cloud is yet thick upon our eyes, and the hearts of men are oppressed by a sense of a strange dismay, it has become my mournful duty to record, by formal and official announcement to the legislative department of the Commonwealth, this calamitous and distressing event.

The Governor then proceeds to narrate, in concise and simple language, some of the leading events in the life of President Lincoln, and to give an analysis of his pure, upright, and unaffected character. Appropriate honors were paid, by the executive and legislative departments of the Government, to the memory of this great and good man. The hall of the House of Representatives, Senate Chamber, and the Governor's room, and the rooms of the different departments, were fitly draped in mourning, and the flag on the dome of the Capitol rested at half-mast. The public buildings of the city, and many of the private residences, displayed the insignia of grief and sorrow. From every pulpit in the Commonwealth sermons were preached full of lamentation. Public meetings were held at Faneuil Hall, and in many of the cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth, in which the public voice spoke forth the public sorrow.

Governor Andrew was engaged to deliver an address in Lowell on the 19th of April, on the occasion of the dedication of a monument, erected by the city and the State, at that place to the memory of the three men belonging to Lowell, who were killed in Baltimore, on the 19th of April, 1861.

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