Lincoln’s Death, New Nation: April 1865 to 1877

Lincoln’s Assassination

Where was Vice President Andrew Johnson?

Johnson had not been attacked the night before. He was shaken, however, both by the assassination and the duties that now devolved upon him. Those who brought him the news, and continually updated it, feared he might repeat his woeful performance on Inauguration Day, but Johnson’s first response was swift and to the point: “The duties are mine,” he said. “I will perform them, trusting in God.”

Johnson was, in several ways, an unknown quantity. Lincoln had trusted him because of the way he governed Tennessee, but many members of Congress barely knew him.


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