150 Years Ago Today...April 15, 1865..."A look of unspeakable peace came upon his worn features"
John Hay (Washington, D.C.)
President Abraham Lincoln dies at 7:22 a.m. on April 15, 1865. He was 56 years old. He is the first President to be assassinated in American history. According to Lincoln's secretary John Hay, at the moment of Lincoln's death, "A look of unspeakable peace came upon his worn features"....
The President's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, is not present at the time of his death and neither are his children. The crowd around the bed kneels for a prayer. When they finish, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton makes a statement, though there is some disagreement among historians as to what exactly the statement is. Most agree that he begins "Now he belongs to the ..." with some stating he finished with "ages" while others believe he finished with "angels."
Hermann Faber, an Army medical illustrator, is brought into the room immediately after Lincoln's body has been removed so that Faber could visually document the scene.
[Image below is a depiction of the scene published May 6, 1865 in Harper's Weekly]