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Excerpts from "Diary kept from Date of Father's Death- 1860" on President Lincoln
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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George Sheldon (1818-1916) used Abraham Lincoln's popular campaign slogan "Honest Ole Abe" when he reported in his diary that Lincoln had been elected President. In his writing, Sheldon underscored that Lincoln is president of the "Union," - the very entity Lincoln would fight to preserve. Four years later, Sheldon recorded Lincoln's death. The shocking and emotional news of Lincoln's assassination spread like rapid-fire in the North. With only telegraph wires and word of mouth, George Sheldon in rural Massachusetts, was able to name the assassin, John Wilkes Booth just hours after he shot Lincoln a little after 10 p.m. on April 14, 1865. Sheldon writes about an emotional scene, "The whole people are in tears- words are "insufficant to express the feeling". He then notes how the following days were a wash of public grieving with buildings draped in mourning.
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