Franklin County: Benjamin Stouffer to Emma V. Stouffer, April
In this letter to his family, Benjamin Stouffer discusses Lincoln's assassination and the subsequent reaction from the public in Poughkeepsie, New York.
My Dear Parents and Family
I now seat myself to answer Emmas very kind and welcome letter which I recd yesterday. and as usual was very glad to hear from you. Oh, what sad news we have
had of late. I suppose there is great excitement about it at home Here evry one that is loyal wears a black and white badge and streets are all hung with
crape flags are flying at half mast a trimed with black. I never
heard any thing that shocked me so much. some of the boys awoke me
up early on Saturdy morning and told me Lincoln had been shot. I scarcely knew what to do. Evy one
looked down and were sad the town was just
as Sunday. Our teachers told us to go home that thy could not teach school and about nine oclock all the bells in the city were tolled. speaking to plainly to sorrowful voice of our people. How true all flesh is as grass &c. this passage of scripture came to my mind very often the past two day this evening I was to the congregational church had a good sermon, upon the uncertainty of life. But why should we mourn Lincoln was only a man and his time had come his God was ready to give him, and we must all follow. My dear Sisters only prove steadfast and hold out for we know not at what hour the son of man cometh. I know full well I am not competant to give you advise but I know you often wonder how I feel toward you since you [unclear: chan]. I do[deleted: n] not see and cannot feel to follow you know, but as a brother
I can only wish you well. You need not fear for me while here I have no temptations to do evill other than when at home. I do not know any new that I think would interest you. this evening it is reported here that Booth has been caught and the Sewards are yet living. to day I was out in the county and collected some wild flowers, the first bloom of spring. I am getting along pretty well. I work pretty hard evy evening untill pretty late, but I feel very stout and a great deal better than when George left. I should like to correspond with SK Snively if you hear his adress "ie" his Brig Div and Corps let me know it. Abners little one has a hard time how much better off it would be if it could leave this world. I suppose the drafted boys feel pretty easy now since the late order from Stanton
I suppose Rush Senseny had a great party when he came home.
I am very glad to hear that Jennie has a colt I hope they can take good care of her. The lines you wrote me are very applicable and I often play some of the old songs we used to sing upon my flute for the boys here, and how attentive thy are thy to have friends at home and often sigh do they think of me at home. I must now conclude as it is very late give my love to the family and remember me to the enquiring friends tell Ella to be a good girl untill I come home. I suppose Uncle Hoovers will not feel very well at home if they go on [unclear: building] directly.
So good night to you all and I remain very truly yours absent Bro