The Life, Public Services and State Papers of Abraham Lincoln

By Henry J. Raymond

Reports, Dispatches, and Proclamations Relating to the Assassination


Unofficial Account of the last Moments of the President.

At twenty minutes past seven o'clock the President breathed his last,  closing his eyes as if falling to sleep, and his countenance assuming an  expression of perfect serenity. There were no indications of pain, and it  was not known that he was dead until the gradually decreasing respiration ceased altogether. The Rev. Dr. Gurley, of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church,  immediately on its being ascertained that life was extinct, knelt at the  bedside and offered an impressive prayer, which was responded to by all  present. Dr. Gurley then proceeded to the front parlor, where Mrs. Lincoln,  Captain Robert Lincoln, Mr. John Hay, the Private Secretary, and others  were waiting, where he again offered a prayer for the consolation of the  family. The following minutes, taken by Dr. Abbott, show the condition of the  late President throughout the night:--

  11 o'clock, pulse 44.
  11.05 o'clock, pulse 45, and growing weaker.
  11.10 o'clock, pulse 45.
  11.15 o'clock, pulse 42.
  11.20 o'clock, pulse 45, respiration 27 to 29.
  11.25 o'clock, pulse 42.
  11.32 o'clock, pulse 48 and full.
  11.40 o'clock, pulse 45.
  11.45 o'clock, pulse 45, respiration 22.
  12 o'clock, pulse 48, respiration 22.
  12.15 o'clock, pulse 48, respiration 21.Eochymosis both eyes.
  12.30 o'clock, pulse 45.
  12.32 o'clock, pulse 60.
  12.35 o'clock, pulse 66.
  12.40 o'clock, pulse 69, right eye much swollen, and eochymosis 
  12.46 o'clock, pulse 70.
  12.55 o'clock, pulse 80, struggling motion of arms.
  1 o'clock, pulse 86, respiration 80.
  1.30 o'clock, pulse 95, appearing easier.
  1.45 o'clock, pulse 86, very quiet, respiration irregular, Mrs. Lincoln  present.
  2.10 o'clock, Mrs. Lincoln retired with Robert Lincoln to an adjoining  room.
  2.30 o'clock, President very quiet, pulse 54, respiration 28.
  2.52 o'clock, pulse 48, respiration 30.
  3 o'clock, visited again by Mrs. Lincoln.
  3.25 o'clock, respiration 24, and regular.
  3.35 o'clock, prayer by Rev. Dr. Gurley.
  4 o'clock, respiration 26, and regular.
  4.15 o'clock, pulse 60, respiration 25.
  5.50 o'clock, respiration 28, regular.
  6 o'clock, pulse failing, respiration 28.
  6.30 o'clock, still failing, and labored breathing.
  7 o'clock, symptoms of immediate dissolution.
  7.22 o'clock, death.

Surrounding the death-bed of the President were Vice-President John son; Secretaries Stanton, Welles, McCulloch, and Usher; Postmaster General Dennison and Attorney - General Speed; Generals Halleck,  Meigs, Farnsworth, Augur, and Todd; Senator Sumner; Rev. Dr.  Gurley; Speaker Colfax; Ex-Governor Farwell; Judge Carter, Judge  Otto; Surgeon-General Barnes; Doctors Crane, Stone, Abbott, and Hall;  M. B. Field and R. F. Andrews.


Major-General DIX, New York:

Official notice of the death of the late President, Abraham Lincoln, was  given by the heads of departments this morning to Andrew Johnson,  Vice President, upon whom the Constitution devolved the office of President. Mr. Johnson, upon receiving this notice, appeared before the Hon.  Salmon P. Chase, Chief-Justice of the United States, and took the oath  of office as President of the United States, and assumed its duties and  functions. At twelve o'clock the President met the heads of departments  in Cabinet meeting at the Treasury building, and among other business  the following was transacted:--

First. The arrangements for the funeral of the late President were  referred to the several secretaries, as far as relates to their respective  departments.

Second. William Hunter, Esq., was appointed Acting Secretary of State  during the disability of Mr. Seward and his son, Frederick Seward, the  Assistant Secretary.

Third. The President formally announced that he desired to retain the  present secretaries of departments of his Cabinet, and they would go on  and discharge their respective duties in the same manner as before the  memorable event that had changed the head of the Government.

All business in the departments was suspended during the day.

The surgeons report that the condition of Mr. Seward remains un changed. He is doing well.

No improvement in Mr. Frederick Seward.

The murderers have not yet been apprehended.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.



Book Navigation Title Page Preface Illustrations Memorandum Table of Contents   ► Chapter I.   ► Chapter II.   ► Chapter III.   ► Chapter IV.   ► Chapter V.   ► Chapter VI.   ► Chapter VII.   ► Chapter VIII.   ► Chapter IX.   ► Chapter X.   ► Chapter XI.   ► Chapter XII.   ► Chapter XIII.   ► Chapter XIV.   ► Chapter XV.   ► Chapter XVI.   ► Chapter XVII.   ► Chapter XVIII.   ► Chapter XIX.   ► Chapter XX.   ► Chapter XXI. Anecdotes and Reminiscences of President Lincoln.   ► Mr. Lincoln's Sadness   ► His Favorite Poem   ► His Religious Experience   ► His Sympathy   ► His Humor, Shrewdness, and Sentiment   ► The Emancipation Proclamation Appendix. Letters on Sundry Occasions.   ► To Mr. Lodges, of Kentucky   ► To General Hooker   ► To John B. Fry   ► To Governor Magoffin   ► To Count Gasparin   ► The President and General McClellan   ► Warnings Against Assassination Reports, Dispatches, and Proclamations Relating to the Assassination.   ► Secretary Stanton to General Dix   ► The Death-Bed   ► The Assassins   ► Reward Offered by Secretary Stanton   ► Flight of the Assassins   ► The Conspiracy Organized in Canada   ► Booth Killed. Harold Captured   ► Reward Offered by President Johnson   ► The Funeral Official Announcements   ► Acting Secretary Hunger to Minister Adams   ► Acting Secretary Hunter to his Subordinates   ► Orders from Secretary Stanton and General Grant   ► Orders from Secretary "Welles   ► Order from Secretary McCulloch   ► Order from Postmaster-General Dennison   ► Proclamation by President Johnson of a Day of Humiliation and Mourning.   ► Secretary Stanton to Minister Adams   ► Important Letter from J. Wilkes Booth   ► Indictment of the Conspirators   ► The Finding of the Court