[LINCOLN, ABRAHAM, ASSASSINATION]. Printed broadside: The President is Dead! War Department, Washington, April 15, 1865...To Maj. Gen. Dix, Abraham Lincoln died this morning at 22 minutes after Seven o'clock. E.M. Stanton, Sec. of War. N.p., n.d. [New York, 15 April 1865?]. 1 page, oblong folio, 544 x 652mm (21½ x 25.5/8 in), mounted on paper, some small chips to black-ruled border, otherwise in good condition.
"THE PRESIDENT IS DEAD!"
A highly unusual survival: a poster reproducing Secretary of War Stanton's telegraphic announcement of the death of Abraham Lincoln. Stanton had been present himself, seated in a chair near the foot of the bed in the Peterson house in which Lincoln expired. Earlier, he had been the only cabinet member to take the threats on Lincoln's life seriously and, more than any other government official, had taken charge of national affairs in the wake of the assassination, scrawling telegraphic messages in the very room in which Lincoln lay dying. Moments after Lincoln died and a brief prayer had been offered, Stanton is said to have uttered the statement "Now he belongs to the ages." Immediately afterwards he telegraphed the momentous news to Major General John A. Dix, U.S. military commander of the Department of the East, headquartered in New York. Dix in turn notified the newspapers and other officials. It is likely, therefore, that on the morning of April 15, the poster was hurriedly set up in the largest available display types, printed and displayed as a public announcement on the streets of New York.