United States Capitol Draped in Black Crepe for Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral  
Reproduction of Albumen Print
April 1865

Courtesy of The Architect of the Capitol

Letterpress Book Page
Thomas U. Walter to his wife
April 15, 186

The first public event of national significance that occurred in the new Capitol Rotunda was the official mourning of Abraham Lincoln, who lay in state from April 19 through April 21, 1865. Just a few days earlier, Walter described for his wife the chaos that filled Washington on the day following Lincoln’s shooting, and his personal shock that it occurred in a theater, and on Good Friday.    “How lamentable that such a thing should have happened in a theater, which is next a-kin to a bawdy house! ... The assassin’s shaft has no power except when God permits—The going to that low theatre on the night consecrated to the death of our Saviour in the midst of rejoicings over the success of our arms, has brought confusion upon the country and filled the world with gloom.”  

Walter Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia


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