A collage of photographs, newspapers and memorabilia related the death of Abraham Lincoln.
Collage created by Gary Erskine.

Impact on a Nation

With the relatively new technology of the telegraph, news of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination spread quickly across the United States and beyond. Many grieved, but others celebrated the death of a man they considered a tyrant.

Reactions to Lincoln’s assassination varied and did so in ways that might surprise us. Use this page to investigate how people around the United States and world reacted. What do their feelings about Lincoln’s assassination tell us about how they saw the larger questions facing the United States as its Civil War drew to a close?

Conduct Your Own Investigation

As you look at each account, consider:

  • How does this response reflect other responses—or not?
  • Who gave the response? What might the person’s reasons be for saying what they did?
  • When did this person talk about their response? Was it soon after the event? Much later?
  • How might that affect what they said?

Reactions to Lincoln’s Assassination

How did people around the United States and around the world respond to the assassination? What do their responses tell us about how people were feeling—about how the country would and should come back together in April 1865?


The International Response





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Black and white photograph of Abraham Lincoln. Written on top of him is "When one man died because he believed in"