At the close of the services in the presidential mansion, the body was conveyed to the Capitol, followed by a larger and more imposing procession than had ever been seen in Washington. The grand avenue leading from the White House to the Capitol was one dense mass of human beings, and all the neighbouring streets of the city were thronged with tearful spectators. As the hearse, which was drawn by eight gray horses, heavily draped in black, approached the Capitol grounds, several bands joined in a mournful requiem, answered by minute guns from the fortifications. The casket was deposited in the rotunda, resting upon a grand catafalque, when Dr. Gurley conducted further ceremonies suited to the place and the occasion. Then the doors were thrown open, that the remains might be viewed by the tens of thousands who had failed to gain access to the Executive Mansion. From that time, all through the night, and far into the next day, a tide of people flowed in and out of the rotunda, to view the face of the President whom they had honoured and loved. Of the pageant of that day Dr. Holland says: “In many of its aspects it was never paralleled upon this continent. Nothing like it—nothing approaching it—had ever occurred in this country, if, indeed, in the world.”

The same day was set apart, throughout the land, for funeral ceremonies, in honour of the deceased President. In hundreds and thousands of towns and cities, churches and public halls were thrown open, and the clergy and other professional gentlemen, as well as laymen, addressed the assembled multitudes, and led them to the throne of grace.

The funeral train left Washington on the morning of April 21st. Along with the casket of the President was borne that of Willie—father and son united in death in the journey homeward, as they were united in life, four years before, on their journey thitherward. The train was elaborately draped, from the locomotive to the last car.

At Baltimore, where conspirators sought the President’s life four years before, on his journey to Washington, thus obliging him to pass through the city by night, a vast concourse of people assembled to pay their tribute of respect to the dead. The city was almost as profusely draped as Washington itself; and when the casket was opened to the public, for a brief time, as honest tears were shed by the multitude about his remains as were wept in any other part of the land.

The inhabitants of every village through which the funeral train passed gathered at the depots, and, with uncovered heads, watched it as it swept by, while the tolling of bells, and sometimes the solemn dirge by a band, together with sable draperies on buildings and flags, added pathos to their grief.

At York, six ladies entered the funeral car, bearing an immense floral tribute, which they laid upon the coffin so tenderly, and with so much emotion, that all witnesses were moved to tears.

The funeral cortége reached Philadelphia on Saturday evening, and the remains were conveyed to Independence Hall, followed by a procession of one hundred thousand people, while from three to four hundred thousand more were spectators. In the solemn shadows of night, moving to the measure of funereal music, the departed President was laid in the historic hall, which was one mass of flags, drapery, and flowers. Few failed to recall the prophetic words of the dead man, uttered within that hall four years before, when he was on his way to Washington to assume the duties of President:—

“All the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated and were given to the world from this hall. I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. … Now, my friends, can this country be saved on this basis? If it can, I shall consider myself one of the happiest men in the world if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on the spot.”

After the addition of a few more words, he added:

  By PanEris using Melati.

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