Lincoln - "The People's President - in His Coffin

Lincoln in His Coffin - Buffalo Visual Arts American History Disasters Famous Historical Events Famous People Government Nineteenth Century Life Social Studies

As Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train made its way to Springfield, Illinois—where the President would be buried—one of the stops on its 1,654-mile journey was Buffalo.  It arrived in that New York town on the 27th of April at 7 AM.

The Buffalo Morning Express reported the details, including these words:

The solemn spectacle has passed. The body of the great martyr has been borne through our hushed streets and onward to its rest. We have looked upon the immortal face and a sacred memory is in our hearts. We have hallowed a shrine in our midst forever, the touch of the dead man's bier.


Punctually to the time, the latter [that is, the funeral train] came slowly in - so slowly and silently that it announced in its very manner the solemnity of its nature. The crowds received it with uncovered heads and every mark of respect. The depot had been elaborately draped as also was the Wadsworth House, Bloomer's Dining Saloon and other buildings in the vicinity.

On the arrival of the train in the depot, the burial party was shown into Bloomer's Railroad Dining Saloon, where they were entertained in Bloomer's best style, and evidently an acceptable entertainment too after the unrefreshing ride of the night.


A little after 10:00 o'clock, the lid was removed from the coffin, and after some preparation by the embalmer and undertaker, exposed to public view.

The corpse was dressed in plain black and the face wore that same kind, benignant look that characterized the "People's President" when alive. The face was slightly discolored , but not as much as many had been led to expect, and the life-like expression of the features were surprising. The thought would arise as we gazed upon the quiet face that he had found the rest for which he must have so often sighed.

The image depicted, above, is from the President’s viewing in New York City, although it was reported that scenes were similar to this in Buffalo.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: May 30, 2020

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.



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