Ribbon Commemorating Abraham Lincoln, 19 April 1865
Fort Wayne's reaction to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln is difficult to study due to the loss of newspapers from April 1865. An important clue to the city's response was a resolution made by Mayor Franklin Randall and the City Council, which was printed in a very limited number on silk ribbons and probably worn at some public commemorative event. Only a single such ribbon is known to survive, preserved among Randall's descendants and now in the collection of the History Center [Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802, www.fwhistorycenter.com]. Though the city was led at that time by a Democratic administration, the ribbon reflects the deep sense of grief as well as the spirit of bipartisanship that unified the city at that time.
FUNERAL OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN
Pursuant to a call from Mayor Randall, a meeting of our citizens was held at the Court House last evening, to make arrangements for the proper observance of the funeral of President Lincoln, on Wednesday, April 19th.
The meeting organized by calling Mayor Randall to the chair, and appointing J. D. Nuttman, Secretary
The following programme was agreed to:
Publis [sic] services in all the Churches, commencing at half past 11 o'clock; — bells to commence tolling at 11 o'clock. Bells to toll again from half past 1 to 2 o'clock, P. M., and minute guns to be fired by Railroad Artillery at the same time. All places of business to be closed during the entire day.
On motion, the Mayor was requested to issue his proclamation to carry out the wishes of this meeting.
A committee of three, Messrs. Oakley, Tons, and Tresselt, were appointed to notify the churches of the wishes of this meeting.
A committee of three, Hon. Charles Chase, J. L. Williams, Esq., and Judge Borden, were appointed to draft and report resolutions expressing the feelings of this meeting. The committee reported the following, which were unanimously approved and adopted:
Resolllved, [sic] That we have heard with profound sorrow of the untimely decease of the Chief Magistrate of the Nation, who by his untiring devotion to the arduous and responsible duties of his position; by his sincerity of purpose; and by his many virtues, had endeared himselfto the national heart.
Resolved, That in the present crisis of public affairs, we can but view his death as a national calamity, the consequences of which cannot now be foreseen, and as a dispensation of Providence, to human wisdom inscrutable, but to which we reverently bow, knowing that the Providence permitting this great affliction, will overrule it to the best good of the nation and of man.
Resolved, That we will stand by the newly inaugurated President of the U. S., and sustain him in his efforts to preserve and vindicate the Federal Union, Constitution, and Laws, until all shall acknowledge their supremacy.
Resolved, That our Government is passing through trials such as have fallen on the lot of no modern people; but we have confidence that our institutions will stand the test of every crisis, and at last demonstrate to the world that a Republican Government is the strongest, as well as the best for man.
Resolved, That to the afflicted family of the late President we tender our hearty sympathies in their sudden and overwhelming sorrow.
Resolved, That the Mayor be respectfully requested to forward a copy of these resolutions to the family of the deceased, and also to the President of the United States.
The meeting adjourned sine die.
F. P. RANDALL, Mayor,
J. D. NUTMAN, Sec'y.