The Great Funeral Oration on Abraham Lincoln by Emma Hardinge

Publication Year: 1865

Hardinge, Emma. The Great Funeral Oration on Abraham Lincoln by Emma  Hardinge; Delivered Sunday, April 16, 1865, at Cooper Institute, New York, before  Upwards of Three Thousand Persons. New York: American News Company, 1865. 
PHS Call number: PAM E 457.52 .H372 1865 

Source note

Emma Hardinge (1823-1899), also known as Emma Hardinge Britten, was a part of the spiritualist movement and campaigned in support of Lincoln. Britten  was born in London and then joined the spiritualist movement in the United States,  where renowned spiritualist Horace Day brought her in to lead seances. Hardinge delivered her oration on Easter Sunday to more than 3,000 people just a day after the  President’s death. In it, she compared Lincoln to Jesus as a martyr for a cause greater  than himself, and connected the fatal shooting of Lincoln on Good Friday to the  martyrdom of Jesus Christ. 

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Reading questions

1.    Who is the author of this source? How does the author differ from those of  Documents 1 and 2?

2.    Why is it impossible to compare the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and other  political assassinations such as that of Julius Caesar (pages 6, 7)? What makes  Lincoln’s assassination stand apart, according to Hardinge?

3.    How does Hardinge describe young Abraham Lincoln’s education on the subject  of slavery (pages 10, 11)?

4.    Why was the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln’s crowning achievement,  according to Hardinge (pages 16, 17)?

5.    Hardinge ends a long passage (pages 21-23) on who (or what) is responsible for  Lincoln’s death with the phrase “…the blood of Lincoln lies at the door of SLAVERY! (page 23).” What does she mean by this? How does she connect the  institution of slavery to Lincoln’s assassination?  

6.    How does Hardinge envision Reconstruction (pages 24-26)?

7.    What language does Hardinge use to describe Lincoln?

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Source type
History Topics
Abolition and Anti-slavery
American Religious History
Civil War
Time Period
Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877)