The Way It Was



1865 On the morning of April 15, 1865 — 150 years ago — President Abraham Lincoln died of a gunshot wound he suffered the night before while watching Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Even by 19th-century standards, word spread quickly throughout the shocked nation, and Detroit deeply grieved the fallen 16th president. Mourners gathered in Campus Martius on April 16 and soon a memorial event with a funeral procession was planned for April 25. These firefighters of K.C. Barker Company No. 4 with a horse-drawn fire engine carrying a young girl with a harp, a flag, and a small portrait of Lincoln were among those who partook in the Detroit memorial. In his 1890 book History of Detroit and Wayne County and Early Michigan, Silas Farmer described the solemn affair: “Everywhere stores and residences were draped in black, and loving, tender, and patriotic mottoes, displayed in many forms, relieved and enforced the somber hangings.” When Lincoln’s body was transported from Washington, D.C., for burial in Springfield, Ill., the funeral train stopped in several cities, though Detroit was not among them. Still, the respect Michigan paid to Lincoln (the state lost nearly 15,000 lives in the Civil War) was undeniably heartfelt. That affection was mutual. At the outset of the Civil War, when Michigan sent more men to fight than he had expected, Lincoln remarked, “Thank God for Michigan.”

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Way It Was

Better Made Snack Foods, 1971

Do Good

The Greater Detroit Philanthropy Awards are back with eight new recipients

AFP Interview Series: Nominee Tracy Utech

With over 20 years of experience, Utech and her team have championed funds that have seen benefit outside of Wayne State’s campus.

AFP Interview Series: Nominee Karen Smithbauer

A career as a preschool teacher and battle with breast cancer, ground Smithbauer's philanthropic efforts

An Hour with ... Faith Duede

Founder, Rocky Horror Preservation Society
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Top Docs List 2018
  2. Memories of Miya
    Citizen Yoga founder, Kacee Must Leeb reflects on her sister’s suicide, its impact on her...
  3. Introducing the Piekie
    These cookie-shaped pies win big on-screen and off
  4. The Sixth Man
    A youth basketball coach teaches lessons on and off the court
  5. Seeking Support
    Like many metro areas across the U.S., finding a therapist in and around Detroit can prove to be...
  6. Therapy in the Digital Age
    New innovations that revolutionize traditional approaches to counseling
  7. Food Recipe: Chili
    Michael Keys, of Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park, shares his favorite chili recipe
  8. Author's Cuisine
    At M Cantina in Dearborn, Junior Merino is creating a new kind of Mexican cuisine that is...
  9. Mending Migraines
    Nausea, excruciating head pain, sensitivity to light and noise: The oppressiveness of the list of...
  10. Seeing Clearly
    The co-founders behind Genusee on making eyewear with a mission