|Union victory under Abraham Lincoln brought with it a popularity that no president had attained
since Washington. The mood of celebration and adoration of a weary president was quickly
swept away by a sudden wave of grief as word spread of the dastardly work of John Wilkes Booth
at Ford’s Theater. Common interest and recognition of the murdered presidents place in history
caused a public thirst for Lincoln related material. The most innocuous bit of Lincolnia took on
special appreciation and caused many of these treasures to be preserved as they were packed away
with family relics. Maine country attics have long been fertile ground for such with a rare find still
possible for the devoted collector.
|At left, Corp. Charles Durham of the 31st Maine Volunteers
preserved this photograph presented by Chaplain George C. Crawford
who is wearing a Lincoln ferrotype on his breast and the required mourning
ribbon on his left sleeve. The image was taken by an Alexandria, Virginia
photographer. The Chaplain’s image is superimposed over Army General
Order No. 3 printed in the field in Alexandria and calling for the wearing of
the Lincoln mourning ribbon on the left arm of all officers.
|Above, period Lincoln mourning relics yielded up by Maine attics
include a Portland, Maine hatters beaver stovepipe still fitted with the
wide black silk mourning band.