Job Angus & President Lincoln’s catafalque

Lincoln's funeral procession on Pennsylvania Avenue on April 19, 1865. Lincoln was being moved from the White House to the Capitol rotunda. Photo is attributed in some places to Alexander Gardner.  Wikipedia: his image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

Lincoln’s funeral procession on Pennsylvania Avenue on April 19, 1865. Lincoln was being moved from the White House to the Capitol rotunda. Photo is attributed in some places to Alexander Gardner. Wikipedia: This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

A while ago, I published a post about Job Angus’s friendship with President Lincoln, and specifically Job’s role in the inauguration, both as a participant in the procession as Assistant Marshall and as the supplier of the location for the inaugural ball.

Photograph of the Lincoln Catafalque in the United States Capitol, taken by Rebel At, on June 30th, 2007. Wikipedia.

Photograph of the Lincoln Catafalque in the United States Capitol, taken by Rebel At, on June 30th, 2007. Wikipedia.

Reading the article “Maryland man may have found two lost or forgotten photos of Lincoln’s funeral procession” online over the weekend reminded me of an article I’d stumbled on some time later, after posting that piece about the ballroom. In it was another mention of Job W. Angus (brother of my second great grandfather James W. Angus), this time about his role on the exceedingly sad occasion of Lincoln’s funeral.

From the Washington Evening Star, 20 April 1865:

The corps was laid on a catafalque, which was designed by B.B. French, Jr., erected in the center of the rotunda by Mr. Job W. Angus and others. The base is one foot high, eight and a half feet long, and four feet wide, and is covered with fine black cloth. The dais is two feet high, seven feet long, and two and a half feet wide. At each corner of the dais is a sloping union column, representing bundles of fasces tied with silver lace. This dais is also covered with black cloth and heavy festoons of the same material, which is edged with silver fringe hung on either side, being gathered in the center with a black rosette of satin ribbon, with a silver star, and from this falls a fold of cloth, the end of which containing three stars. On either side of the dais are two muskets with bayonets, two carbines and two sword bayonets crossed.

(For the full text of this and other articles related to Lincoln’s funeral proceedings, visit abrahamlincolnonline.org.)

Now here’s something I never knew, and it completely blows me away, knowing that Job had a hand in erecting President Lincoln’s catafalque: The very same catafalque has been used for all those who have since lain in state in the Capitol Rotunda* as well as for those who have lain in state elsewhere in the Capitol. That just astounds me. Angus descendants can feel very proud to have such a weighty connection to our nation’s history, a connection that is ongoing! Amazing!

 

*In the Capitol Rotunda (For more information on the catafalque, visit: Architect of the Capitol)
Abraham Lincoln April 19-21, 1865
Thaddeus Stevens August 13-14, 1868
Charles Sumner March 13, 1874
Henry Wilson November 25-26, 1875
James Abram Garfield September 21-23, 1881
John Alexander Logan December 30-31, 1886
William McKinley, Jr. September 17, 1901
Pierre Charles L’Enfant
(re-interment) April 28, 1909
George Dewey January 20, 1917
Unknown Soldier of World War I November 9-11, 1921
Warren Gamaliel Harding August 8, 1923
William Howard Taft March 11, 1930
John Joseph Pershing July 18-19, 1948
Robert Alphonso Taft August 2-3, 1953
Unknown Soldiers of World War II
and the Korean War May 28-30, 1958
John Fitzgerald Kennedy November 24-25, 1963
Douglas MacArthur April 8-9, 1964
Herbert Clark Hoover October 23-25, 1964
Dwight David Eisenhower March 30-31, 1969
Everett McKinley Dirksen September 9-10, 1969
J. Edgar Hoover May 3-4, 1972
Lyndon Baines Johnson January 24-25, 1973
Hubert Horatio Humphrey January 14-15, 1978
Unknown Soldier of Vietnam Era May 25-28, 1984
Claude Denson Pepper June 1-2, 1989
Ronald Wilson Reagan June 9-11, 2004
Gerald R. Ford, Jr. December 30, 2006–January 2, 2007
Daniel K. Inouye December 20, 2012

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Categories: Angus, Death, Lincoln, President Abraham, Washington DC | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Job Angus & President Lincoln’s catafalque

  1. Ok just read your latest post!! What can I say but WOW!!! the hairs on my arms just stood up!! Thank you so much Maureen

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  2. What a gem of a family story. Now I will go back to my family of horse stealing, cattle rustling, hobos and stealing candy from babies ancestors. You have a great find in your family history I know you must feel very proud and humbled at the same time.

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    • Thank you. It is a really great story. I got goosebumps when I learned that the catafalque has been used ever since. It is very humbling, indeed. And it just continues to prove to me that amazing connections are out there just waiting to be made. So, who knows who else is out there among the horse thieves, cattle rustlers, hobos, and candy-stealers?! And, trust me, I’ve found my share of skeletons, but even those can be very illuminating when you consider how other family members may have been impacted. Thanks for taking the time to comment, and have a great day!

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  3. What an amazing and wonderful story! 🙂

    Like

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