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  M & S Library Number: 24551
 

    (LINCOLN). (IOWA). NEALLY, GEORGE C. Three (3) pp. ALS, (signed G.C.N, Jr.), to Thomas H. Eaton of Bath, Maine, Concerning Lincoln?s Assassination. Bird?s Nest Nursery, Burlington, Iowa, April 29, 1865. Sheet 7.75 x 10 inches, folded in half. Ink. Stamped cover with?logo of nursery, ?Neally Bros. & Bock?. Browned, slight bleed through, otherwise fine. $850.00

     

         A personal letter which describes events surrounding the memorialization of the death of Abraham Lincoln, as conducted in Burlington, Iowa.

         George C. Neally, a nurseryman, born in New Hampshire about 1810, writes to Thomas H. Eaton, a student of Bath, Maine, born about 1850: ?What sad news has visited us lately. How sorrowful the whole land has felt at the death of our honored President. I heard yesterday that Booth was shot and died about two hours after, uttering blasphemy against the government. He must have been wild, I should think, to have appeared as he did. What barbarians some men are.?

         The Neally Brothers, George and Charles, operated the Bird?s Nest Nurseries in Burlington with partner Jerome Bock. These were the largest nurseries in southeastern Iowa and the first to operate a commercial greenhouse in Burlington. It is unclear how George Neally knew?young Thomas H. Eaton, son of Thomas, a harness maker, but he is possibly a relative.

         Neally goes on to write: ?The public buildings here and many of the private buildings are draped in mourning. I should have said that they have been, as some of the buildings have had the mourning taken off. The interior of the Cong. Church is shrouded...Friday the 19th inst., the day when President Lincoln?s funeral was held in Washington, was celebrated in this city. There were services in the different churches?Ķin the afternoon?Ķa long procession formed and marched through the principal streets; it was headed by the band, the drums of which were covered with black & white cloth; a hearse followed, and then a long line of persons, who were old citizens of the place, the Germania & Hibernia societies?Ķ?

         He closes with the news that he is reading ?Irving?s Life of Washington? in five volumes ?and finds it very interesting. It is Monday, May 1st, as I close this letter. Write soon, believe me, ever your friend, G.C.N. Jr.?

 

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