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The Last Day of Abraham Lincoln Figure Henry Riggs Rathbone Under the Management of the Mutual Lyceum Bureau Auditorium Building, Chicago, Illinois Announcement For the Centennial of Abraham Lincoln nothing could be more appropriate than an authoratative address concerning the life and death of the great martyred president. The management are singularly fortunate in being able to afford an opportunity to the public to hear this address on the Last Day of Abraham Lincoln delivered by one who is better qualified to speak on this subject than probably any other living man. Henry Riggs Rathbone, who is well known throughout the country as a public speaker, is delivering this season his address on Abraham Lincoln, particularly with regard to the last day and tragic death of the great president. It is quite a remarkable coincidence that Mr. Rathbone was born on the anniversary of President Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1870, in Washington, D. C. His grandfather was Honorable Ira Harris, a judge of the Supreme Court of New York, who was elected in 1860 a United States Senator from that state, after having defeated two such prominent public men as William M. Evarts and Horace Greeley. The Senator's family moved to Washington at the time and he soon became one of the most influential members of the upper house and was one of President Lincoln's closest friends and staunchest supporters throughout the the trying period of the war. On the fateful 14th day of April, 1865, General and Mrs. Grant had at the last moment notified the President that they could not attend with him and Mrs. Lincoln the performance at Ford's Theatre that evening. The President and Mrs. Lincoln and Mr. Rathbone's parents were the four people in the carriage who drove to Ford's Theatre that evening and what was said by the President and others at that time and on several other occasions immediately preceding his assassination was, of course, known to them alone. Mr. Rathbone depicts with graphic power the events following the arrival of the party at the theatre in rapid succession—how Booth obtained entrance to the box—how the President was shot—how his father grappled with the assassin and received a severe wound—of the escape—of the part that both his mother and father later played in the terrible and tragic events of the evening. On account of the intimacy of the President and Mr. Rathbone's family and the part played by his parents in the final act of the tragic drama, Mr. Rathbone is probably better qualified than any other man alive to speak with authority, not only of the events of the evening, but of the President's life and character as well. Mr. Rathbone has traveled extensively in this and foreign coutries, is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., of Yale University and has been practicing his profession of the law in Chicago for fourteen years. He is recognized as a forceful orator with magnetic personality and a voice that carries his audience with him. He has been in demand as a public speaker in all parts of the country and has been listened to with high appreciation by the most prominent men of the nation, many of whom have testified to this appreciation in letters, a few of which are quoted in this announcement. In his address Mr. Rathbone paints with a few vivid strokes the rising career of Abraham Lincoln down to the morning of the fateful day. Proceeding then in more detail, the events of the day are narrated including many incidents, which are now given to the public for the first time and are unobtainable from any other source. The narrative rises by degrees to the tremendous climax which is delivered in a way never to be forgotten by any audience and the address closes with an appeal to the highest patriotism of the nation. Comment I heard Hon. Henry R. Rathbone for a very brief time before a campaign audience of perhaps ten thousand people at Rochester, Indiana. In the few minutes he spoke he captivated the vast crowd with his description of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. His voice is rich, his delivery admirable for a lecturer, his diction charming, his climaxes thrilling. He has rare powers of entertainment for an audience. ALBERT J. BEVERIDGE, U. S. Senator from Indiana. You will remember that when one year ago, upon hearing your most interesting description of the assassination of President Lincoln, I insisted that it was your duty to treat it as a lecture. I have been informed that you will do so. I know the people will be profoundly grateful. I was never more interested in my life. HON. FREDERICK LANDIS, Congressman from Indiana. I want to commend Mr. Rathbone—I have heard him lecture, and it is small testimony to the effectiveness with which he held my attention and that of the whole audience, to say that his lecture on Lincoln is a lecture of great power and marked literary beauty. Mr. Rathbone has, moreover, in rare measure the art of oratory, the art of a fervent and dramatic ability. REV. JOSEPH A. MILBOURN, Congregationalist. I have your letter of November 19th and have taken great pleasure in looking over the pamphlets sent me. I congratulate you especially upon your Decoration Day address at Lincoln Park in 1899. It is a masterful production. HON. CHARLES G. DAWES, Former Comptroller of the Currency. I have had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Henry R. Rathbone lecture. He is one of the strong men in the west; a forcible and pleasing speaker. The matter of his lecture was fresh, bright and full of interest. WILLIAM A. COLLEDGE, of Armour Institute. I wish to express my appreciation of your address before our people on Lincoln's Assassination. It possessed rare vividness and dramatic power, and was listened to with deep interest and evident enjoyment. REV. JOSEPH A. VANCE, of Hyde Park Presbyterian Church. I am gratified to learn that Mr. Henry R. Rathbone of the Chicago Bar contemplates devoting a portion of his time hereafter to the delivering on the platform of his lecture on Abraham Lincoln—a lecture known to me as a magnificent production, thoughtful, analytical, powerful. I regard Mr. Rathbone as one of the most eloquent men in this country; and I unhesitatingly prophesy for him great success in his new field. HON. LUTHER LAFLIN MILLS, of Chicago. The lecture, Abraham Lincoln by Hon. Henry R. Rathbone was very well received by our Chautauqua audience. It is a vivid word picture of the career and tragic ending of the beloved President. The impression made upon the audience as the lecturer told, as though he had been an eye witness, the story of the assassination, was profound. CHARLES H. SECCOMBE, Superintendent Waterloo Chautauqua & Bible Institute. I have had the pleasure of reading Mr. Henry R. Rathbone's lecture on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and gladly commend it to those in charge of lecture courses. His presentation is most excellent as well as very complete. It is a thrilling recital of our nation's greatest tragedy and cannot fail to interest an audience. HON. W. J. BRYAN. The lecture on Abraham Lincoln by Henry R. Rathbone, Esq., delivered before the congregation of St. Paul's Church on Friday, Feb. 10, 1905, was one of the most interesting, instructive and eloquent addresses ever delivered on our great martyred president. The satisfaction it afforded was unbounded. I hope a large number of audiences will be privileged to hear it. BISHOP SAMUEL FALLOWS. I assure you that your lecture on the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln was one of the most valuable lectures we have ever had in Central Department. It ranks with the best Lincoln lectures I have ever heard. It is interesting and inspiring in the highest sense and of the kind that makes one a better citizen for having heard it. I wish you the widest success. M. J. STICKEL, Social Work Director, Y. M. C. A. of Chiago. Press Comment Mount Morris Index, June 3, 1903. All who were present expressed the opinion that the address of Henry R. Rathbone was a very able one, full of life and patriotism and of eulogistic praise for our dead soldiers and statesmen. The Ionia Daily Standard, February 3, 1906. Mr. Rathbone delivered the most polished oration, as well as the most interesting one, of the evening. He is a very eloquent speaker, and he held the audience spellbound during the long time he talked. Harvey Tribune Citizen, June 3, 1899. Henry R. Rathbone delivered the Memorial Sunday address at the Grant monument, Lincoln Park. The committee was fortunate in securing Mr. Rathbone, whose address was both interesting and well delivered, holding the close attention of all his hearers. The Janesville Daily Gazette, January 4, 1905. Charmed Audience—The lecture presented last evening was one based upon the facts which the speaker learned from his father and mother and it was a thrilling depiction of the terrible tragedy that stole away from the American people their 'Great War President' and 'Savior of the Union.' The Hinsdale Doings, March 2, 1907. Members of the Men's Club, were given a great treat last Thursday evening when Mr. Henry R. Rathbone delivered his address on Lincoln. It was a most vivid and thrilling word picture, impressing the audience with the true greatness, simplicity and patriotism of the martyred hero. It was the kind of lecture to give one high ideals, and the wish of those present was that the speaker might favor Hinsdale again at a not too distant date. The Dixon Daily Star, August 3, 1905. Henry R. Rathbone's Lecture on 'Abraham Lincoln' Assembly Treat.—No previous address of more intense interest—enjoyed by veterans.—His description of the tragic affair at Ford's theater was truly dramatic. No address which has been delivered at the Assembly this season has proven of more intense interest. For word painting, swift thrilling and dramatic action, it is unexcelled. The orator makes use of the scenes of the martyed president's career and particularly of the assassination, as vividly as though we were ourselves present and beheld the terrible tragedy with our own eyes. The Erie Evening Herald, February 15, 1905. Mr. Henry R. Rathbone gave a splendid address, telling in a very dramatic way of the assassination of president Lincoln on the night of April 14, 1865, in Ford's Theater at Washington. He held the closest attention of all as he narrated the said story of the death of the country's greatest president, and in words of eloquence he paid tribute to the memory of the nation's preserver. The Dixon Sun, January 24, 1905. Years of close study of the subject has made Mr. Henry R. Rathbone especially fitted to lecture on this event which shocked the civilized world. In his lecture as he weaved the threads of Lincoln's life into the one great theme, he showed all the powers of an orator of more than ordinary power, and though his rhetoric was simple, at times it reached to the heights of eloquence, seemingly swaying the emotions of his auditors wherever he would. The Aurora Daily News, August 21, 1905. The incidents of that eventful evening when a great and good man was assassinated, Mr. Rathbone has learned from the lips of his parents, who played so prominent a part in the terrible drama and it is this that places his address on an entirely different basis from that of any other who has spoken on the great theme of never failing interest to the American people, Abraham Lincoln. Not only is the personal interest for this reason unusually great, but Mr. Rathbone is besides a very pleasing speaker. He possesses a degree of dramatic ability, a powerful voice and easy, graceful, yet earnest and magnetic narration. Garden City Council Journal, February, 1906. Mr. Rathbone possesses a mellifluous, well controlled voice and speaks with assurance, ease and effect. It was apparent that he had reverently approached the study of his subject and availing himself of its opportunities, compiled a lecture containing interesting facts neatly set in apt quotations and relieved, as it were, here and there by beautiful rhetorical figures, and all in all, pointing the way to better manhood and a lofty conception of American citizenship. No better proof of the splendid quality of Garden City's membership can be adduced than shown on this occasion, when every member present followed the speaker most attentively for nearly an hour, and when he concluded he was roundly applauded.
|Title||Henry Riggs Rathbone|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||Lecturers|
|Personal Name Subject||Rathbone, Henry Riggs (Rep.)|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
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|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|