Letter from Augustus Clark to S. M. Allen, 16 April 1865
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War Department employee August Clark's moving letter to his uncle, S. M. Allen, relating in first-hand account detail the events surrounding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, 14-15 April 1865. Enclosed with the letter was a relic of the event: a piece of woven white linen towel stained with Lincoln's blood (now faded). Many of those gathered around Lincoln at the time of his death collected pieces of cloth, hair, and other artifacts. People collected these items from Lincoln's deathbed in part as a recognition of his accomplishments as a politician and as the president, and in part because of the awareness of this historical nature of the incident.