Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wednesday April 26 1865

I spent the day in town.  In the morning Lucy & I walked through the Mound burying Ground.  It is a pretty “city of the dead” .  The monuments, shrubbery, and flowers show the love of the living for departed friends.  We went up to the top of the Mound & rested, and enjoyed the views of the Country & town below.  We then walked over to Williams lot on       Street and then down 4” street home.  Rufus is having a new house put up the west side of this street the foundations of which are now being laid.  When we got back to Mrs Dawes’ we found Mrs. Lucy Browning there to spend the day.  After dinner Mr & Mrs Hayden Smith and their little girl returned from the Country & Lucy had to get them dinner.  Mr. Smith has been here several weeks and his wife & child came a few days ago.  They are going to Harmar to board to-morrow.  They are intelligent, pleasant people — Rufus and Mary called in the evening.  They have recently returned from a trip to Washington, Gettysburg &c.  They were in Washington the night of the President’s assassination.  Had thought of going to Fords’ Theater that night to see the President and Gen. Grant who were advertised to be present — But Mary was tired, and they did not go.  They put up at the National Hotel and were annoyed by some fellows in an adjoining room who were drinking singing & swearing but who went out in the course of the evening and left all quiet and they went to sleep and did not hear till morning of the President’s Assassination and did not know till some days afterwards that the room adjoining theirs was the one occupied by J. Wilkes Booth.  Who was there doubtless with his accomplices preparing themselves for the dreadful deed.  Rufus said the excitement in the city was terrible, thousands congregating at the street corners, and threatening vengeance on such as rejoiced in the murder of Lincoln or failed to exhibit from their houses emblems of mourning.  All the Public Offices were closed — and apprehensions of serious disorders were felt — The military as well as police force were on the alert.
Mrs Dawes showed me a photograph of Ephe taken lately which looks better than I expected he ever could.

Peggy's comments:
When I first read this, I was absolutely amazed that Julia's nephew, Rufus R. Dawes, was in Washington DC and stayed at the National Hotel the night Booth assassinated Lincoln.  Booth indeed was there that day.  Amazing!

The Mound Cemetery in Marietta, Ohio
(Ohio Historical Society)
A stereoscope picture of the house that was built in 1865 for Rufus and Mary Dawes.
The house is still standing on Fourth Street in Marietta, Ohio.

National Hotel, Washington, D. C.

Rufus R. Dawes
(Family collection)

Mary Gates Dawes
(Family collection)

Ephraim Cutler Dawes.
His beard conceals the scars of reconstructive surgery on his jaw.

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