Cassidy Family - William Cassidy on Lincoln's Assassination
From the Albany Argus (William Cassidy)
The President is dead! For the first time the annals of the country have been stained by a political assassination! A wanton, cruel infamous crime has taken off the Chief Magistrate of the country at a moment when all his endeavors were concentrated upon the restoration of peace, and when his heart was full of purposes of mercy.
The mind recoils at the atrocity of this deed the more it is contemplated. A civil magistrate the elected Chief of a great Republic, sitting by the side of his wife, at a public spectacle surrounded by his fellow citizens, is shot in his seat. The Secretary of State, lying paralyzed in his bed, protected by his son and by his nurses, is seized at midnight, his son murdered in his efforts to protect him, his nurses struck helpless, and he mutilated in his bed by murderous blows!
Let the blow recall us all to our duties! Let Us draw near to the Altar of the Country, also as we approach the Altar of our God! We have great duties in this crisis. The first is to forget selfishness and passion and party and look to the salvation of the country. The Constitution places Andrew Johnson in the Presidency. He has aspirations of true patriotism and capacity for good. Let good men rally to his side, and sustain him through this crisis.
He belongs to the State of Jackson, and was a pupil in the political school of the old Hero. He enjoyed at one time to a large degree, the confidence of Democrats; and has recently been the recipient of the highest honors of the dominant party. He is, like Lincoln, whom he accedes, a Southern man by birth. If he rises to the magnitude of the crisis, he may quell this Evil Spirit, which first broke out in treason to the country, and has manifested its assassin spirit in midnight murder!
Let us all unite to carry him safely through the ordeal in which he is placed; for the peace of the Country depends upon the assertion of Law, and of the Nation's Authority, and the suppression and punishment of Treason and Crime.
As to the dead President, let us do justice to his memory! He dies in the hour of his country's restored greatness, in the full fruition of his own personal triumph! History might have disputed the character of his acts, and if he had lived he might have forfeited some of his fame. The assassin's blow will rank him, in the memory of millions, among the martyrs of Liberty.
Rochester Daily Democrat April 18, 1865