Noah Brooks

“The tolling of the bells announced that he had ceased to breathe”

Noah Brooks

Noah Brooks

Newspaperman Noah Brooks, an acquaintance from Illinois, joined Lincoln’s inner circle when he moved to the capital in 1862. Brooks—a plainer and less sophisticated man than John Hay, whom he found somewhat self-important—was also very close to Lincoln, who instructed him not to call him “President” Lincoln. Thanks to his journalist’s background, we have a great deal of detail from behind the scenes of Lincoln’s presidency. Shortly before the assassination, Brooks had managed to get the appointment to replace John Nicolay as Lincoln’s private secretary with the help of Mrs. Lincoln. Reunion draws on his moving account of Lincoln’s funeral in its closing scenes.

Lincoln’s Cooper Union Speech

“When Mr. Lincoln rose to speak, I was greatly disappointed. I said to myself, ‘You won’t do. This is all very well for the wild West, but it will never go down in New York!’”

The Night of the Assassination

“But the evening turned cold, raw, and gusty. Dark clouds enveloped the capital.”

Lincoln’s Funeral at the Capitol

“While they were passing, I went alone up the winding stairs to the top of the great dome. Directly beneath me lay the casket in which the dead President lay at full length, far, far below; and like black atoms moving over a sheet of gray paper, the slow-moving mourners crept silently across the rotunda.”

Journey of the Funeral Train

“Thousands of the plain people he loved came out from their homes to stand bareheaded as the train swept by, its westward progress through the night marked by campfires built along the course.”

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