Lincoln's Jewish Friend from Springfield, Julius Hammerslough, Appeals to Rabbi Leeser to Help Fundraise for a Lincoln M

May 30, 1865

Add to History Board Share Print
Back to The Collection
Manuscript
See full images and transcript
Lincoln's Jewish Friend from Springfield, Julius Hammerslough, Appeals to Rabbi Leeser to Help Fundraise for a Lincoln M
Broadside
1 page | SMC 226

Quick Reference

      Background

      Julius Hammerslough, of the firm of Hammerslough Brothers, Springfield Illinois, was one of the few Jews to know Lincoln personally before the latter's ascension to the Presidency. The German-born clothier was, in fact, the first Jewish resident of Springfield, and enjoyed friendly relations with both Abraham and Mary Lincoln. Such were the terms of their intimacy that he attended Lincoln's 1st Inauguration; escorted Mary Lincoln's sister, Mrs. Ninian Edwards, from Springfield to Washington; and visited with Lincoln, frequently, in the White House. And when, in 1865, Lincoln was brought home for burial, Hammerslough met the body in Chicago and accompanied it back to Springfield. Here, less than a month after that dismal undertaking, he writes to Rabbi Isaac Leeser of Philadelphia, asking that he circulate an appeal headed by Hammerslough - as a special emissary to the Jews - for a national  Lincoln memorial in Springfield.

      Benevolence, one of he cardinal principles upon which Judaism is founded, appeals to your kind and noble heart, and solicits your earned assistance in aiding this great National work. I entrust to your good judgment the annexed circulars of the National Lincoln Monument Association, and by distributing the same among your Congregation, Schools and Colleges, in your city and surrounding country, you will not only pay tribute to the merits of our fallen Chief, but will also confer a great favor upon me, which shall always have the most grateful remembrance. I could kindly ask you to have the appeal read in your Synagogue, and impress upon each and every one present the importance of the great and holy work before us.

      Hammerslough's stirring appeal stressed that in a land where the Jews had won such a proud name, and were now so respected and honored, they should show their love and veneration for the wise, honest, and pure of purpose fallen chief.   The embodiment of these feelings - and the moneys raised - became, in 1874, the Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, Illinois.



      Printed Document, signed in type, 1 page, quarto, Lincoln National Monument, Springfield, Illinois, May 30, 1865. To Rabbi Isaac Leeser.

      Read More

      all pages and transcript

      Page 1/1

      Page 1 transcript
      Lincoln National Monument.

      Springfield, Ills., May 30th, 1865

      Rev. Mr Isaac Leeser

      Dear Sir :

      Benevolence, one of the cardinal principles upon which Judaism is founded, appeals to your kind and noble heart, and solicits your earnest assistance in aiding this great National work.  I entrust to your good judgment the annexed Circulars of the National Lincoln Monument Association, and by distributing the same among your Congregation, Schools and Colleges, in your city and surrounding country, you will not only pay tribute to the merits of our fallen Chief, but will also confer a great favor upon me, which shall always have the most grateful remembrance.  I would kindly ask you to have the Appeal read in your Synagogue, and impress upon each and every one present the importance of the great and holy work before us.

      Trusting your kind assistance and co-operation in the cause for which I appeal to you will bear fruit and meet with success everywhere, I have the honor to remain,

      Your Obedient Servant,

      JULIUS  HAMMERSLOUGH.