Participating in the Remembering Lincoln digital project

At the end of July I received notification from the Remembering Lincoln digital project of the Ford Theatre that they had discovered a number of manuscripts in our collection related to reactions to Lincoln’s assassination. They found the manuscripts because I cataloged them in OCLC, the national online catalog. Would we be interested in participating in their website? Absolutely, I replied.

What is the website all about? Remembering Lincoln is a digital project of the Ford Theatre. It provides access to letters, diaries, newspapers, sermons, mourning ribbons, illustrations, proclamations, and other primary sources that document how people across the world felt when Abraham was assassinated. Some mourned his death, others did not. Some items discuss hearing the initial news, mourning rituals, his funeral, or later forms of memorials, among other topics. There are also teaching modules for various grade levels. Check out the site here

The five items I added to the Remembering Lincoln website are in CENTRA and are listed below:

A handwritten diary entry of Aug. 12, 1865 of Quincy A. Moore of Ohio, describing his visit to the Dan Rice Circus in Bellefontaine, Ohio, where he saw a tableau of Lincoln’s assassination is a side show, 1 page, in 1 volume. The volume is a one item collection: Quincy A. Moore (d. 1877) Diary, 1865, 1869.

A handwritten letter to Jane (Young) Metcalf Betts from her Aunt Harriet Farley in Burr Oak, Saint Joseph County, Michigan, April 23, 1865, describing her feelings about and the town’s reaction (gathering, mourning, and sermons) to the death of Lincoln. The letter is part of the Doris L King Family Papers, 1822, 1877.

An unsigned, handwritten letter to Friend Lib [probably the widow Mrs. Levi (Elizabeth) Smith) from an unidentified Union soldier in Harper Hospital Detroit, Michigan, April 20, 1865, describing how most people were sad to hear the news of Lincoln’s death, but two Union soldiers rejoiced and were punished. The letter is part of the Levi Smith Family Papers, 1851, 1903.

A handwritten letter to his unidentified parents from J.D. McClure in Memphis, Tennessee, April 1865, emotionally describing how the first heard the news and how the Secessionists (demons) who killed Lincoln will be punished. This letter is a one item collection entitled J.D. McClure Correspondence, 1865.

A letter from Reuben Yarick at Washington, D.C., to his brother John Yarick, describing his fears and feelings about the assassination of Lincoln and visiting the body in the White House. This letter is part of the John Yarick Papers, 1854-1864.
Yarick letter

For each item added to the site, there is a template you fill with information, including a long and short title, description of contents and size, item type, material type, transcription (which in some cases was quite time consuming), various sizes and types of scans of the item so the user can see what the complete original looks like, location and identification of creator, a list of searchable terms selected from a standardized vocabulary list, information about use, proper citation, institution holding the item, and relevant institutional links. I added the Clarke’s Civil War bibliography, which I compiled years ago, but is still relevant and gives an idea of the breadth of our Civil War sources as a link. And I offer a big thank you to Bryan and Casey for scanning all those documents various ways so I could upload them.


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