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: Home maker and wife of a local grocer Eliza Webster Mountford preserved her program and mourning badge from the Lincoln funeral held in Portland’s city hall April 19, 1865.
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.