Joseph Henry Attends Lincoln's Funeral

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Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry and Assistant Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird attend President Abraham Lincoln's funeral in the East Room of the White House. They are among 600 people who attend the service. Lincoln had been assassinated on April 14, the same day that the end of the Civil War was marked by the raising of a Union flag over Fort Sumter. In a letter to his daughter, Henry laments Lincoln's death and says he believes Lincoln was trying to end the war "as humanely as possible." In regard to his successor, he prays "that the mantle of Lincoln may fall upon him, that he may be imbued with the same honesty of purpose, the same kindness of heart, and the same moderation and prudence of action."


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Lincoln, Abraham 1809-1865
  • White House (Washington, D.C.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • See Kathleen Dorman's "'Interruptions and Embarrassments': The Smithsonian Institution during the Civil War"
  • Marc Rothenberg, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 10, January 1858-December 1865: The Smithsonian Years (Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2004), 502-05.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


  • April 19, 1865
  • Civil War, 1861-1865


  • History--United States--19th century
  • Assassination
  • History
  • Funeral service
  • Presidents
  • United States--Presidents


United States

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