The Death of Elisha Kent Kane


The death of "Dr. Kane of the Arctic Seas" cause perhaps a greater public outpouring of grief than that of any other figure between Washington and Lincoln. After his death in Havana, where he had gone in a fruitless effort to recover his health, Dr. Kane's remains were transported by boat to the mainland, where they progressed by steam-train and boat throughout the heart of the United States, before arriving in Philadelphia for the final obsequies. At every train station and dock where his casket passed, it was met by crowds of civic dignitaries, wearing black as well as specially made badges and armbands. Pictures of Dr. Kane, draped with black crepe, appeared in every store-window, and flags flew at half-mast from town halls and statehouses.

These articles from Harper's Weekly give some sense of the tremendous feeling with which Dr. Kane's demise was felt.






from the collection of Russell A. Potter