Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"The Cane of Abraham Lincoln in the Troy Police Court—An Interesting History" (1880)

"When the body of Abraham Lincoln was removed from the box in Ford's opera house, Washington, in which he was assassinated on the night of April 14, 1865, his cane was left behind. An actor attached to the theatre laid hands upon the relic, and for a year or two retained it in his possession. During a debauch the cane was pawned, and came into the custody of a Frenchman who was the proprietor of a restaurant in Baltimore. The possessor of the memorial removed to this city some time ago, and now lives at the corner of Federal and North Fourth streets. Robert T. Lincoln of Chicago, son of the ex-president, learning the whereabout of the cane, instituted measures for its recovery, and this morning the service of a search warrant by Chief Detective Markham secured the transfer of the object to the hands of that official, and in police court this afternoon it will be awarded to its rightful owner. The cane is an ebony stick with a silver head, upon which is engraved the inscription 'A. Lincoln.'"

"The Cane of Abraham Lincoln in the Troy Police Court—An Interesting History." Troy Times. January 22, 1880: 3.

"TROY, N.Y., Jan. 21.—Chief Detective Markham recovered this morning from Stephen Mayhue, a butcher, doing business at North Fourth and Federal streets, an ebony cane, with a silver head, bearing the inscription 'A. Lincoln.' The cane was taken by Mr. Lincoln to the private box at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, on the night of his assassination. In the excitement occasioned by the shooting of Lincoln the cane was forgotten. Mayhue says he bought it from one of the members of the theatrical company that was playing in the theatre on the night of the assassination. The actor came into Mayhue's place in Baltimore, and, while undetr the influence of liquor, sold it. Mayhue says he paid a good price for it. The case was called in the Police Court this afternoon, but the prosecution was not ready, and an adjournment for two weeks was granted. Robert T. Lincoln, son of the dead President, will claim the cane when the proceedings are taken up. He and a friend have been in correspondence for some time in reference to the subject, and there is no doubt that the cane really belonged to Mr. Lincoln."

"President Lincoln's Cane Found." N.Y. Times. January 22, 1880.

"[Troy Evening Standard.]

"Many years ago, when President Lincoln was a poor lawyer in Springfield, Ill., he carried about with him a plain ebony cane, with a silver ferrule marked 'A. Lincoln.' The cane may have cost $5. When Lincoln found himself in Washington he still carried the old ebony, being loath to part with his old friend. One day a delegation of friends waited upon and presented him with an elegant modern cane with an elaborately engraved gold handle. He accepted the gift more to accommodate his friends than to please himself. The old cane was given to a trusty valet who often frequently a prominent restaurant in Washington, where nightly assembled many professional men, actors, lawyers and musicians. Among the number was A. R. Phelps, the first manager of the Grand Central Theatre. hard pushed for money the valet pawned the cane with the proprietor of the restaurant and from the latter it passed into the hands of Phelps. In his vocation as a theatrical manager and actor Phelps struck Troy some three or four years ago and assumed the management of the Grand Central Theatre for Thomas Miller, the proprietor. Finally adversity overtook him. Misfortune fell heavily upon him and he with his wife and six children was left in the direst distress and he pawned the cane to a down-town citizen for $25. He then left town and has not since been seen here.

"Robert T. Lincoln, son of the dead President, learning that the cane was in this city, corresponded with Chief Markham with a view of obtaining possession of it. Yesterday morning Markham received track of its whereabouts and served a search warrant upon the proprietor of a meat market at the corner of Federal and North Fourth streets. There the cane was recovered in Police Court yesterday afternoon before Justice Donohue the matter of the disposition of the cane was taken up and postponed for two weeks. It is supposed Phelps gave the cane as security for meat consumed by his family."

"Lincoln's Cane: The Story of Its Wanderings and Its Recovering In Troy." N.Y. World. January 23, 1880: 5 cols 4-5.

Frederick Douglas was given one of Lincoln’s canes by his widow in 1865, now at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site; Dr. Joseph Parrish Thompson gave a cane reported to have been Lincoln’s to the New-York Historical Society in 1879; another cane alleged to be Lincoln’s sold at auction in 1903; William H. Lambert was reported to have one in 1914; another was reported on in 1929.

"Dr. Thompson’s Will; Many Bequests to Friends and Relatives—Abraham Lincoln’s Cane.” N.Y. Times. November 21, 1879: 3 col 3.

“Fate of Lincoln’s Cane; War President’s Cherished Walking Stick Sold at Auction for $145.” Madison County Times [Chittenango, NY]. December 4, 1903: 1 col 8.

“Lincoln Relics on Exhibition; Collection Made by Major Lambert Said to Be Best Anywhere; Many Personal Trinkets; Sleeve Button, Inkstand and Cane Used by Martyr Included in Display.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 6, 1914: 7 col 4.

“Buys Cane Lincoln Had When Slain; New Orleans Man Obtains Stick Carried by President on Fatal Night in Ford’s Theatre.” N.Y. Evening Post. November 20, 1929: 7 cols 6-8.

Lincoln poems by Trojans or in Troy newspapers:

"Abraham Lincoln" by James S. Thorn (1865)


"A Dirge on the Death of Abraham Lincoln" by Josiah L. Young (1865)


"The Death Of President Lincoln" by Mrs. E. Van Santvoord (1865)


"In Memoriam A. L.” by Benjamin Homer Hall (1865)


“Sic Semper Tyrannis” Edward Hewes Gordon Clark (1865)


"A Dirge for Wednesday, April 19, 1865" by Albert S. Pease (1865)


"Lincoln" by Rev. T. L. Drury (1915)


"The Face of Lincoln" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1918)


"Washington and Lincoln in Paradise" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1920)


"True Greatness" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1922)


"Abraham Lincoln (Can We Forget?)" by Rev. Algernon S. Clark (1926)


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