Not Everybody Mourned Lincoln's Death

Thomas P. Lowry

in The Lincoln Assassination

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780823232260
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240784 | DOI:

Series: The North's Civil War

Not Everybody Mourned Lincoln's Death

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This chapter shows that some citizens—including, surprisingly, a number of Union soldiers and sailors—were not saddened at all by President Lincoln's passing. In fact, many of them publicly expressed joy over the assassination. Their doing so had legal ramifications, too, for merely expressing satisfaction at Booth's deed often resulted in imprisonment, a fine, or both. The chapter examines seventy-eight long-ignored files in the National Archives involving cases of those tried for rejoicing over Lincoln's death. In such cases, the protections of the First Amendment were overwhelmed by public anger—and by sometimes harsh prosecution—at citizens who would applaud the murder of a president.

Keywords: Abraham Lincoln; assassination; Union soldiers; sailors; Booth

Chapter.  5482 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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