101 Stories

with which I follow the road of the Family for a Century

43. When Lincoln Was Shot.

The allusion to a possible meeting with Lincoln in a former story grew out of the fact that the political alignment of our family was with the Lincoln traditions and positions of those days.

One of the tales I remember hearing of the days before the Speer family left Lewisburg was that father tells of the fateful day when a rider of the "Pony Express" came dashing madly down the road, reined in his horse which was covered with foam, and shouted "Mrs. Speer, Lincoln is shot - tell the neighbors" and he was on his ride to spread the news until another horse and rider should relieve him. Father says he noticed his mother was weeping and he wept, hiding his face in the folds of her skirts, for to him and to her it seemed the darkest possible hour had struck America. Abolitionists, the Speers and their kin had left their old home as we have told, that they might live on free soil. Their men who were available were in the Union Army. Lincoln was one of their boys. His policies were their political guide. His death was their extreme sorrow.

Susan Moore Speer was in early life teacher of a "subscription school" in Indiana, intelligent, resourceful and a great reader. She was a long-time member of the Christian Church. Mamie and I saw the little Christian Church in Old Leesville where she must have attended with her young family. I remember how well-informed she was on the questions which agitated America in the political campaign of 1896, with its “free coinage of silver at 16 to 1” issue.

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.