Jubilation and Sorrow
After the surrender of General Lee, the City of Washington was illuminated on the night of the twelfth of April, 1865. In passing down H Street, between Sixth and Seventh, I noticed that one house was dark and not illuminated. It turned out to have been the house of Mrs. Surratt, who was hung as one of the conspirators in the plot to assassinate the President.
- Simon Wolf, Presidents I Have Known, 1921
Jubilant celebrations marked the Confederate surrender on April 9, 1865. But the thrill of victory was cut short. On Friday, April 14, after Jews had ushered in the Sabbath and the fifth day of Passover, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre. The nation mourned.
During the war, Washington’s population grew to 140,000, nearly double that of the 1860 census. The capital city was evolving into a major metropolis, and Washington’s Jewish community would grow and flourish as well.