Friday, April 17, 2015

Monday April 17. 1865

Mr. Burgess here this morning greatly excited —he acted like a crazy man.  His family dreading the effect upon him, concealed the death of President Lincoln from him until yesterday, the news seems to have thrown him off his ballance.  He is a great coward naturally, and now he is sure somebody will assassinate him, when William told him that he was in no danger, he was very angry, he said they had murdered Lincoln & Seward and yet they would tell him he was in no danger.  He then began to abuse William and call him an infidel &c in the midst of which William left him to go on the cars to Chillicothe —He then turned to me and berated the Baileys, Col. Mills, President Andrews, brother William, Sister Sarah and every other friend he could think of, until he had exhausted his extensive vocabulary of abusive epithets —Mrs. Cutler took her bonnet & went to her mothers —I tried to read the paper to him but he at every pause in the reading began anew, till at last I handed him the Gazette to take home with him.  I dont doubt he is sincerely sorry for the death of Mr. Lincoln, but I think he manifests it in a strange way —I suppose that he is really deranged for the time being, that is the most charitable construction we can put upon his conduct — —Chief Justice Chase administered the oath of office to President Johnson Saturday, within three hours of the death of President Lincoln.  There is to be no changes in the cabinet for the present, at least —And the government goes on without interuption, it is believed that the new President will carry out the Emancipation Policy of Lincoln, and that he will treat traitors with less leniency than his predecessor —The fact that Johnson was drunk on the 4” of March has filled people with apprehensions for the future — It is stated however authoritatively that he is not an habitual drinker — that he was at that time prostrated by disease, and took stimulants to enable him to go through the duties of his day — The mortification felt by his friends & the Country generally may prove a valuable lesson —
Mrs. Cutler, little Sarah, & Maggie Voris went to Marietta to take the Wild Wagoner and go with Kate & Anna McLean to Wheeling — They expect to get home Wednesday.

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