Abraham Lincoln

Two original sermons, delivered following the death of Abraham Lincoln, contained in a New York preacher's notebook

Bound manuscript, 450 pages (approx.), 7.5" x 9.5", New York [and other locales], 1841-1889: a incredible trove of sermons, accomplished primarily in ink, but occasionally in pencil, many accomplished on the original pages of the notebook, together with additional pages and scraps either pasted or pinned into the volume. Binding loose, some pages chipped at margins, some expected toning and soiling, else very good condition overall. 

Of particular interest in Quackenbush's notebook are two sermons delivered on the occasion of Lincoln's assassination. The first, a thirteen-page sermon delivered at Prospect Hill Church in New York on April 19, 1865 is headed, "90 President Lincoln's Assassination" and uses 2 Chronicles 20: 5-9 as the main text: "Upon the nation of Judah a great calamity had fallen. A Messenger had brought such tidings as made the King afraid, & pressed him to seek the Lord, & proclaim a fast..." In his sermon, Quackenbush eloquently underscored the gravity of Booth's crime as well as those of his fellow conspirators while pleading for the wheels of justice to run their course: "...The treason that attacked the peace of our country, in every one that planned it, & in every one that voluntarily helped it is a far greater crime. We follow the assassin with our exertions & get the gallows ready for him with a common consent, but his crime hideous, as it is pales in the presence of the greater crime of treason. It involves many crimes in itself, & murder is but one of its offshoots. It breaks all law by striking at the very heart of authority, & government. There is a strong tendency & temptation to revengeful feeling in this hour - Grief relives itself by anger. The mind recovers itself from its depression by the stimulus of indignation. This ought to be restrained. The law sh[oul]d do its work against offenders in a sphere undisturbed by storms of feeling. Justice sh[oul]d know nothing of the mere impulses of mercy, or of revenge which move the heart of the nation. The future fate of those that have so marred the fair face of our land & ploughed it full of that centuries will not efface, & dotted it all over with grains out of which the blood will ooze for ages, their fate if they fall into the hands of the government ought to be decided with a gravity, & solemnity, that shall exclude all the impulses of this hour... " Pinned to another album page directly opposite the last sermon is another on the same subject, delivered on June 1, 1865 on the occasion of a public day of humiliation and fasting declared to mourn Lincoln's death. In this ten-page address, Quackenbush uses Hosea 11: 7-9 for his text. The sermon, also delivered on five previous occasions between 1843 and 1850 was modified for Lincoln's assassinations by the use of pasted slips of paper covering older text. It appears that the Reverend Quackenbush also used elements of his Lincoln sermon again when James Garfield died sixteen years later in 1881, even harking back to "that Friday night April 14, 1865 to which we were sorely tempted to apply the bitter words in which a man greatly distressed cursed his day…" Indeed most of the sermons are grouped by event (or type of event). One sermon, in which he references Jonah 3: 8 & 9, he uses for three maritime disasters: "Wreck of 'Arctic' 1854 - Wreck of 'Central America' - 1857 [and] Wreck of 'Ville du Havre" 1873".

Not only does this volume of value for the inclusion of two sermons delivered on the occasion of Lincoln's death, it stands as a window into the manner in which this preacher worked. Quite often similar events required the similar words of comfort and reflection, and Quackenbush was quite adept in molding these to different occasions.


Item: 58343

Price: $3,500.00
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Abraham LincolnAbraham LincolnAbraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
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