April 14, 1865

Gideon Welles is Summoned to Abraham Lincoln’s Last, and Prophetic, Cabinet Meeting

Autograph Document
1 page
SMC 1739
On this, the happiest day of his life, and his last, Lincoln calls a Cabinet Meeting. Now that the butchery of war was at long last over, the talk of reconstruction would begin. Grant attended the Friday meeting as well, to tell about Lee’s surrender, five days before. And Lincoln, almost euphoric, related a curious dream he had the night before - a dream, he said, which he had preceding nearly every great and important event of the war. “It related to your element, the water,” he told Welles. “I seemed to be in some indescribable vessel,” he said, “moving with great rapidity toward an indefinite shore.” It presaged, he was sure, that they should have “great news” very soon. And they did: within hours, Lincoln was dead, assassinated.
[Lincoln, Abraham], Document, partially printed and accomplished in manuscript, being a summons to a Cabinet Meeting; 1 page, octavo, Department of State, Washington, April 14, 1865. To Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.
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