A little after 11.30am local time from the New Yorker Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, a clearly deflated but nevertheless resolute Hillary Clinton delivered her concession speech.
And it was tinged with heartfelt words of passion which moved many around her to tears.
In the aftermath of a defeat that shocked the world, her address marked the first time that the 69-year-old politician publicly reached out to her supporters.
Walking out onto the stage in the last hour, Ms Clinton was surrounded by continued applause and warm shouts of support.
As she called her Democratic nomination, “one of the greatest honours of my life,” her voice faltered with emotion.
“I am sorry that we did not win this election for the values we hold and the vision we share for this country,” she stated.
And though she admitted that “our nation is more deeply divided than we thought,” she reiterated that “the American dream is big enough for all of us”.
She furthermore highlighted America’s “cherished” peaceful transferral of power, and said that President-elect Trump should be afforded “an open mind and a chance to lead”.
Indeed, drawing on the reality TV star’s own wording during his victory speech, early in her address she had stated that she hoped Donald would indeed “be a successful president for all Americans”.
“We poured our hearts into this campaign,” Clinton uttered, adding that she had spent her "entire adult life fighting for what I believe in".
Turning her attentions to the younger people of America – a group which had overwhelmingly leant its support to her campaign – she said: "I’ve had successes and I’ve had set backs – many really painful ones.
"You will have successes and set backs too but never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it."
Before her arrival on stage, a tearful-looking former vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, 58, emerged alongside his wife, Anne.
Talking to the crowd, he spoke of how Hillary “has been and is a history maker in everything she has done.”
“I’m proud of Hillary because she loves this country,” Kaine stated, highlighting that she had been “in battles before”.
“She’ll be in battles again,” he said, later adding: “Til her very last breath she’s going to be battling for the values that she believes in.”
Ms Clinton had planned to speak to the crowd at the Jacob Javits Center during the night.
However, when it became clear that her loss was all but inevitable only her animated campaign manager, John Podesta, appeared telling the shocked and dismayed gathering that there would be no comment until the morning.
Still, he managed to be positive. "We will be back, and we will have more to say," he announced. "Let's get those votes counted, and let's bring this home."
President-elect Donald Trump, who himself seemed surprised at the convincing nature of his win (a win which defied almost every poll published in advance of voting) had addressed his own supporters at around 3am at the city's Hilton hotel.
An hour later he called on his presidential rival to concede defeat – although he did say that America owed her "a major debt of gratitude for her debt to our country".
Clinton had secured 228 electoral votes compared to Trumps’ victorious 279. She did nab important swing states such as Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado, but the former Apprentice boss locked down Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida to storm to victory.