Historic Ryde Society

‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 28 December 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.   The Museum of Ryde will be closed from 24th December 2023 to 4th February 2024. We are opening Monday, 5th February 2024. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Isle of Wight Observer Saturday, May 13, 1865

Ryde Commissioners

The usual monthly meeting of this Board was held on Tuesday evening last, when there were present Mr Thomas Dashwood, (chairman), Messrs Barnes, White, Hillier, Hands, Paul, Futcher, Marvin, John Harbour, James Harbour, Yelf, Barkham and James Dashwood.

The minutes of the last special and general meetings were read and confirmed.


The Chairman said, before proceeding to the business on the notice paper he was anxious they should, as the governing body of the town, give expression to their feelings with respect to the assassination of President Lincoln (hear, hear). Nearly all the Town Councils and Public Boards in the kingdom had done so. It was a sad calamity that a man so eminently fitted for the position he held should have been cut off at that particular moment when the destinies of a great nation were in his hands. He should like a committee to be formed to properly draw up an address to be engrossed and signed with the common seal of the Board. Although there were different views as to the great strife which had been going on in America for the last four years, there could be no difference of opinion as to the terrible crime which had been committed. It would, therefore, well become them to draw up an address of sympathy with the American nation and with Mrs Lincoln in her bereavement, which address should be forwarded to Mr Adams, the American minister in London, for presentation. In order that these views should be carried out, he would propose that Mr Paul, Mr White and himself should be authorised, as a committee of that Board, to carry the matter out in their name.

Mr Futcher rejoiced that the matter had been brought forward, and most cordially seconded the proposal of the Chairman. There was an universal regret at the sad event which had happened.

Mr Paul cordially concurred in the motion, yet he thought the views sketched out by the Chairman would have been as well embodied and sent on as to have formed a committee. No-one could help feeling horror and regret at the sad calamity. As to the war itself, scenes more dreadful had been enacted than any the scope of history afforded.

The resolution was adopted unanimously.

The committee having met on the morning after the meeting, adopted the following memorial, which has since been forwarded to the American Minister in London:

To his Excellency the Honorable C F Adams, Minister of the United States to the Court of St James’s.
“Sir, –
We, the Ryde Commissioners incorporated by Act of Parliament, beg to express our great sorrow and indignation at the lamented assassination of your late respected President, whereby the American nation has lost the services of an enlightened ruler and noble-minded patriot.
“We respectfully tender, through you to his bereaved widow and to the Government and people of the United States, our heartfelt sympathy on this melancholy occasion, and we sincerely hope that the era of peace, mercy, and liberty, which your late illustrious chief so happily inaugurated, may be carried by his successor to a just and satisfactory termination.
“Given under our common seal this 10th day of May, 1865, at the Town-hall, Ryde.”

Following the 150th anniversary of the assassination, a letter from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was presented to Ryde’s Mayor, Cllr Roi Milburn, who in turn handed it to the Heritage Centre for safe-keeping.

Abe Lincoln 2 for web

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