assassination of Abraham Lincoln, one of the last
major events in the American Civil
War, took place on Good Friday,
April 14, 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln was shot while attending a
performance of Our American
Cousin at Ford's
Theatre with his wife and
John Wilkes Booth
, had also
plotted with fellow conspirators, Lewis Powell
and George Atzerodt
, to kill William H. Seward
(then Secretary of State
hoped to create chaos and overthrow the Federal government
assassinating Lincoln, Seward, and Johnson. Although Booth
succeeded in killing Lincoln, the larger plot failed. Seward was attacked,
but recovered from his wounds, and Johnson's would-be assassin fled
D.C. upon losing his nerve.
Original kidnapping plot
Ulysses S. Grant
, the commanding general of all the
Union's armies, suspended the exchange of prisoners-of-war
in March 1864. This
decision cut off a badly needed source of reinforcement for the
outnumbered, manpower-starved South. John Wilkes Booth
, a Confederate
sympathizer, formulated a plot to kidnap Lincoln and take him
south, to hold him hostage and force his government to resume its
earlier policy of exchanging prisoners. Booth had organized a
circle of conspirators to help him in attempting this. He recruited
, David Herold
, Michael O'Laughlen
, Lewis Powell
a.k.a. "Lewis Paine"
and John Surratt
. In time, John
Surratt's mother, Mary Surratt, left
her tavern in Surrattsville, Maryland, and moved
to a house in Washington, where Booth became a frequent
Prosecutors would later point out that this move
coincided with Booth's need to have a base of operations in the
In the fall of 1860, John Wilkes Booth reportedly became a Knights of the Golden Circle
initiate in Baltimore.Booth attended Lincoln's second inauguration
on March 4, 1865, as the invited guest of his secret fiancée Lucy
Hale, the daughter of John P. Hale
, soon to be United States Ambassador to
. Booth remarked afterwards, "What an excellent chance I
had, if I wished, to kill the President on Inauguration day!"
On March 17, 1865, Booth told his conspirators that Lincoln would
be attending a play, Stll Waters Run Deep
, at Campbell
Military Hospital. He assembled his team in a restaurant at the
edge of town, evidently intending that they should soon join him on
a stretch of road nearby and ambush the president on his way back
from the hospital. But after going out to check on Lincoln, Booth
returned with the news that Lincoln had not gone there after all.
Instead, the president was at the National Hotel attending a
ceremony in which the officers of the 142nd Indiana were presenting
their governor with a captured Confederate Battle Flag. Ironically,
Booth lived at the National.
On April 11, 1865, Booth attended a speech outside the White House
in which Lincoln gave support for the idea of voting rights for
black people. Furious at the prospect, Booth changed to a plan for
assassination: "That is the last speech he will ever give".
Planning the assassination
Abraham Lincoln on the White House
balcony, March 6, 1865.
This is the last known high-quality photograph of
Three days prior to his assassination, Abraham Lincoln related a
dream he had to his wife and a few friends. According to Ward Hill Lamon
, one of the friends who was
present for the conversation, the president said: "About ten days
ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important
dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I
fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There
seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued
sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my
bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the
same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from
room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful
sounds of distress met me as I passed along. I saw light in all the
rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the
people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was
puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this?
Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and
so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room
, which I entered. There I met with a
sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque
, on which rested a corpse wrapped in
funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were
acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing
mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping
pitifully. 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of
the soldiers, 'The President,' was his answer; 'he was killed by an
assassin.' Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which
woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it
was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever
since."Meanwhile, the Confederacy was falling apart. On April 3, Richmond,
Virginia, the Confederate capital, fell to the Union
army. On April 9, the Army of Northern Virginia, the
first army of the Confederacy, surrendered to the Army of the Potomac at Appomatox Court
Confederate President Jefferson Davis
and the rest of his
government were in full flight. Although many Southerners had given
up hope, Booth continued to believe in his cause.
On April 14, Booth's morning started at the stroke of midnight.
Lying wide awake in his bed at the National Hotel, he wrote his
mother that all was well, but that he was "in haste". In his diary,
he wrote that "Our cause being almost lost, something
and great must be done".
Abraham Lincoln's day started well for the first time in a long
time. Hugh McCulloch
, the new
Secretary of the Treasury
remarked on that beautiful, bright morning: "I never saw Mr.
Lincoln so cheerful and happy". No one could miss the difference.
For months the President had looked pale and haggard. Lincoln
himself told people how happy he was. This caused the First Lady
Mary Todd Lincoln
some concern as
she believed that saying such things out loud was bad luck. Lincoln
paid her no heed. Lincoln met with his Cabinet that day and later
had a brief meeting with Vice President Johnson, the first between
the two since Johnson had shown up drunk to take the vice
presidential oath on Inauguration Day.
At around noon while visiting Ford's to pick up his mail, Booth
overheard that the President and General Grant would be attending
the Ford Theatre to watch Our
that night. Booth determined that this was
the perfect opportunity to do that something "decisive" for which
he was looking. Booth knew the theater's layout, having performed
there several times, as recently as the previous month. Booth
believed that if he and the others could kill the President, Grant,
Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William
Seward, at the same time, he could upend the Union government for a
long-enough time so that the Confederacy could mount a
That same afternoon Booth went to Mary Surratt's boarding house in
Washington, D.C. and asked her to deliver a package to her tavern
in Surrattsville, Maryland. He also requested Surratt to tell her
tenant who resided there to have the guns and ammunition that Booth
had previously stored at the tavern ready to be picked up that
evening. She complied with Booth's request and, along with Louis J. Weichmann
, her boarder and son's friend,
she made the trip. This exchange would lead directly to Mary
Surratt's execution three months later. At 7 o'clock that night
Booth met with his fellow conspirators. Booth assigned Powell to
kill Seward, Atzerodt to kill Johnson, and David E. Herold
guide Powell to the Seward house and then lead him out of the city
to rendezvous with Booth in Maryland. Booth would shoot Lincoln
with his single-shot derringer and then stab Grant with a knife.
They were all to strike simultaneously, shortly after 10 o'clock.
Atzerodt wanted nothing to do with it, saying he had signed up for
a kidnapping, not a killing. Booth told him he was too far in to
Booth shoots President Lincoln
Contrary to the information Booth read in the newspaper, General
and Mrs. Grant had declined the invitation to see the play with the
Lincolns, as Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Grant did not like each other.
other people were invited to join them, until finally Major Henry Rathbone and
his fiancée Clara Harris (daughter of
York Senator Ira Harris)
accepted the invitation.
President and First Lady arrived at Ford's Theatre after the play
began, Lincoln had been delayed at the White House by Missouri Senator
John B. Henderson
who successfully appealed for a
for George S.E. Vaughn
who had thrice been convicted of
espionage for the Confederates and was sentenced to die. It was
Lincoln's last official act as President. The couple were led to
the presidential box, where Lincoln was seated in a rocking chair
on the left-hand side. The show was briefly paused to acknowledge
the presence of the President and First Lady, who were applauded by
At about 9:00 p.m., Booth arrived at the back door of the theater,
where he handed the reins of his horse over to a stagehand named
. Spangler was busy,
so he asked Joseph Burroughs, known as "Peanuts", for the snacks he
once sold in the theater, to hold the horse. As an actor at Ford's
Theatre, Booth was well known there and he knew his way around. He
entered a narrow hallway between Lincoln's box and the theatre's
balcony, and barricaded the door. At that point, Mrs. Lincoln
whispered to her husband, who was holding her hand, "What will Miss
Harris think of my hanging on to you so?" The president replied,
"She won't think anything about it". Those were the last words ever
spoken by Abraham Lincoln. It was about 10:15 p.m.
The box was supposed to be guarded by a policeman named John Frederick Parker
who, by all
accounts, was a curious choice for a bodyguard. During the
intermission, Parker went to a nearby tavern with Lincoln's footman
and coachman. It is unclear whether he ever returned to the
theatre, but he was certainly not at his post when Booth entered
Booth knew the play, and waited for the right moment, one where
actor Harry Hawk would be onstage as "cousin Asa", where there
would be laughter to muffle the sound of a gunshot, when Hawk said
to the insufferable Mrs Mountchessington, "Don't know the manners
of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside
out, old gal; you sockdologizing old man-trap!" Booth raced forward
and shot the president in the back of the head. Lincoln slumped
over in his rocking chair, unconscious. Mary reached out and caught
him, then screamed. Rathbone jumped from his seat and tried to
prevent Booth from escaping, but Booth stabbed the Major violently
in the arm with a knife. Rathbone quickly recovered and tried to
grab Booth as he was preparing to jump from the sill of the box.
Booth again stabbed at Rathbone, and then attempted to vault over
the rail and down to the stage. His riding spur caught on the
Treasury flag decorating the box, Booth jumped on the stage and
landed awkwardly on his left foot, fracturing his left fibula
just above the ankle. He raised himself up
and, holding a knife over his head, yelled, "Sic semper tyrannis!" the Latin Virginia state motto,
meaning "Thus always to tyrants".
Other accounts state that
he also uttered "The South is avenged!" He then ran across the
stage, and went out the door onto the horse he had waiting outside.
Some of the men in the audience chased after him, but failed to
catch him. Booth struck "Peanuts" Burroughs in the forehead with
the handle of his knife, leaped onto the horse, kicked Burroughs in
the face with his good leg, and rode away. He headed toward the
Navy Yard Bridge to meet up with Herold and Powell.
Death of President Lincoln
Ford's Theatre in 1865
Mary Lincoln's and Clara Harris' screams and Rathbone's cries of
"Stop that man!" caused the audience to understand that this was
not part of the show, and pandemonium broke out in Ford's Theatre.
, a young Army surgeon on
liberty for the night and attending the play, made his way through
the crowd to the door at the rear of the Presidential box. It would
not open. Finally Rathbone saw a notch carved in the door and a
wooden brace jammed there to hold the door shut. Booth had carved
the notch there earlier in the day and noiselessly put the brace up
against the door after entering the box to kill Lincoln. Rathbone
shouted to Leale, who stepped back from the door, allowing Rathbone
to remove the brace and open the door.
Leale entered the box to find Rathbone bleeding profusely from a
deep gash that ran the length of his upper left arm. Nonetheless,
he passed Rathbone by and stepped forward to find Lincoln slumped
forward in his chair, held up by Mary, who was sobbing. Lincoln had
no pulse and Leale believed him to be dead. Leale lowered the
President to the floor. A second doctor in the audience, Charles Sabin Taft
, was lifted bodily
from the stage over the railing and into the box. Taft and Leale
cut away Lincoln's blood-stained collar and opened his shirt, and
Leale, feeling around by hand, discovered the bullet hole in the
back of the head by the left ear. Leale removed a clot of blood in
the wound and Lincoln's breathing improved. Still, Leale knew it
made no difference: "His wound is mortal. It is impossible for him
President Lincoln, surrounded by
officers and doctors, on his death bed
, Taft, and another doctor from the audience named Albert King
and decided that while the President must be moved, a bumpy
carriage ride across town to the White House was out of the
question. After briefly considering Peter Taltavull
's Star Saloon next door,
they chose to carry Lincoln across the street and find a house. The
three doctors and some soldiers who had been in the audience
carried the President out the front entrance of Ford's. Across the
street, a man was holding a lantern and calling "Bring him in here!
Bring him in here!" The man was Henry Safford, a boarder at
Petersen's boarding house opposite
The men carried Lincoln into the boarding house and
into the first-floor bedroom, where they laid him diagonally on the
bed because he was too tall to lie straight.
A vigil began at the Petersen House. The three physicians already
in attendance were joined by Surgeon General of the
United States Army Joseph K.
, by Major Charles Henry Crane
, by Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott
, and by Dr.
Robert K. Stone
. Crane was Barnes' assistant and Stone
was Lincoln's personal physician. Robert
and Tad Lincoln
Secretary of the
Navy Gideon Welles
and United States Secretary of
War Edwin M. Stanton
came and took charge of the scene.
Mary Lincoln was so unhinged by the experience of the assassination
that Stanton ordered her out of the room by shouting, "Take that
woman out of here and do not let her in here again!" While Mary
Lincoln sobbed in the front parlor, Stanton set up shop in the rear
parlor, effectively running the United States government for
several hours, sending and receiving telegrams, taking reports from
witnesses, and issuing orders for the pursuit of Booth. Nothing
more could be done for President Lincoln. At 7:22 a.m. on April 15,
1865, Abraham Lincoln died. He was 56 years old. Mary Lincoln was
not present at the time of his death. The crowd around the bed
knelt for a prayer, and when they were finished, Stanton said "Now
he belongs to the ages". There is some disagreement among
historians as to Stanton's words after Lincoln died. All agree that
he began "Now he belongs to the..." with some stating he said
"ages" while others believe he said "angels".
Powell attacks Secretary Seward
Booth had assigned Lewis Powell to murder Secretary of State
William H. Seward
. At this time, Seward was bedridden
due to a carriage accident. On April 5, Seward was thrown from his
carriage, suffering a concussion, a jaw broken in two places, and a
broken right arm. Doctors improvised a jaw splint to repair
his jaw, and on the night of the assassination he was still
restricted to bed at his home in Lafayette Park in Washington, not too far from the White House.
Herold guided Powell to Seward's residence
on Booth's orders. Powell was carrying an 1858 Whitney revolver
which was a large, heavy and popular gun during the Civil War.
Additionally, he carried a silver-handled bowie knife
Powell knocked at the front door of the house a little after 10:00
p.m.; William Bell, Seward's butler, answered the door. Powell told
Bell that he had medicine for Seward from Dr. Verdi, and that he
was to personally deliver and show Seward how to take the medicine.
Having gained admittance, Powell made his way up the stairs to
Seward's third floor bedroom. At the top of the staircase, he was
approached by Seward's son and Assistant Secretary
of State Frederick W.
. Powell told Frederick
the same story that he had told Bell at the front door. Frederick
was suspicious of the intruder, and told Powell that his father was
After hearing voices in the hall, Seward's daughter Fanny opened
the door to Seward's room and said, "Fred, father is awake now",
and then returned to the room, thus revealing to Powell where
Seward was located. Powell started down the stairs when suddenly he
jolted around again and drew his revolver, pointing it at
Frederick's forehead. He pulled the trigger, but the gun misfired.
Panicking, Powell smashed the gun over Frederick's head
continuously until Frederick collapsed. Ironically, he could have
just fired it again, but when he beat Frederick, it destroyed the
beyond repair. Fanny, wondering what
all the noise was, looked out the door again. She saw her brother
bloody and unconscious on the floor and Powell running towards her.
Powell ran to Seward's bed and stabbed him repeatedly in the face
and neck. He missed the first time he swung his knife down, but the
third blow sliced open Seward's cheek. Seward's neck brace was the
only thing that prevented the blade from penetrating his jugular
. Sergeant Robinson and Seward's son Augustus
tried to drive Powell away. Augustus had been asleep in his room,
but was awakened by Fanny's screams of terror. Outside, Herold also
heard Fanny's screaming. He became frightened and ran away,
Secretary Seward had rolled off the bed and onto the floor by the
force of the blows where he could not be reached by Powell. Powell
fought off Robinson, Augustus, and Fanny, stabbing them as well.
When Augustus went for his pistol, Powell ran downstairs and headed
to the front door. Just then, a messenger named Emerick Hansell
arrived with a telegram for Seward. Powell stabbed Hansell in the
back, causing him to fall to the floor. Before running outside,
Powell exclaimed, "I'm mad! I'm mad!", untied his horse from the
tree where Herold left it, and rode away alone.
Fanny Seward cried "Oh my God, father's dead!" Sergeant Robinson
lifted the Secretary from the floor back onto the bed. Secretary
Seward spat the blood out of his mouth and said "I am not dead;
send for a doctor, send for the police. Close the house". Seward's
wounds were ugly, but Powell's wild stabs in the dark room did not
hit anything vital. The Secretary survived the attacks and
continued as Secretary of State throughout Johnson's
Atzerodt fails to attack Andrew Johnson
Booth had assigned George Atzerodt to kill Vice President Andrew
Johnson who was staying at the Kirkwood Hotel in Washington.
Atzerodt was to go to the Vice President's room at 10:15 p.m. and
shoot him. On April 14, 1865, Atzerodt rented room 126 at the
Kirkwood directly above the room where Johnson was staying. He
arrived at the Kirkwood at the appointed time and went to the bar
downstairs. He was carrying a gun and a knife. Atzerodt asked the
bartender, Michael Henry, about the Vice President's character and
behavior. After spending some time at the hotel saloon, Atzerodt
got drunk and wandered away down the streets of Washington.
Nervous, he tossed his knife away in the street. He made his way to
the Pennsylvania House Hotel by 2 a.m., where he checked into a
room and went to sleep.
Earlier that day, Booth stopped by the Kirkwood Hotel and left a
note for Johnson that read "I don't wish to disturb you. Are you at
home? J. Wilkes Booth." This message has been interpreted in many
different ways throughout the years. One theory is that Booth,
afraid that Atzerodt would not be successful in killing Johnson, or
worried that Atzerodt would not have the courage to carry out the
assassination, tried to use the message to implicate Johnson in the
Booth and Herold flee
Within half an hour of his escape on horseback from Ford's, Booth
was over the Navy Yard Bridge and out of the city, riding into
Maryland. Herold made it across the same bridge less than an hour
later and reunited with Booth. After retrieving weapons and supplies
previously stored at Surattsville, Herold and Booth went to Samuel A. Mudd
, a local doctor who determined that
Booth's leg had been broken and put it in a splint
. Later Mudd made a pair of crutches
for the assassin.
spending a day at Mudd's house, Booth and Herold hired a local man
to guide them to Samuel Cox's house.
Cox in turn led them to Thomas Jones, who
hid Booth and Herold in a swamp near his house for five days until
they could cross the Potomac
Capture of Herold and death of Booth
Booth and Herold remained on the run until April 26, when Union
soldiers tracked them down to a farm
belonging to Richard Garrett. The Garretts had locked Booth and
Herold in their barn. Herold surrendered himself after the soldiers
arrived, but Booth refused to come out. The soldiers then set fire
to the barn. A soldier named Boston
then crept up behind the barn and shot Booth in the
neck, paralyzing him. Booth was dragged out on to the steps of the
barn. A soldier dribbled water onto his mouth. He then told the
soldier "Tell my mother I died for my country". Writhing in agony,
he asked a soldier to lift his hands and whispered
"Useless...Useless". Booth died on the porch of the Garrett farm
two hours after Corbett had shot him.
Flight and capture of the other conspirators
Powell was unfamiliar with Washington, and without the services of
his guide David Herold, Powell wandered the streets for three days
before finding his way back to the Surratt house on April 17. He
found the detectives already there. Powell claimed to be a
ditch-digger hired by Mary Surratt, but she denied knowing him.
They were both arrested. Atzerodt hid out in a farm in Germantown,
Maryland (about 25 miles NW of Washington), but was tracked down
and arrested on April 20. The rest of the conspirators were
arrested before the end of the month, except for John Surratt
, who made his way to Europe and
Africa before he was finally apprehended in November 1866.
was later tried for Lincoln's murder; but an eyewitness placed him
in Elmira, New
York on the day of the assassination, and the jury could
not reach a verdict.
Surratt was released and lived the rest
of his life, until 1916, a free man.
In the turmoil that followed the assassination, scores of suspected
accomplices were arrested and thrown into prison. All the people
who were discovered to have had anything to do with the
assassination or anyone with the slightest contact with Booth or
Herold on their flight were put behind bars. Among the imprisoned
were Louis J. Weichmann
, a boarder in Mrs. Surratt's
house; Booth's brother Junius
(playing in Cincinnati at
the time of the assassination); theatre owner John T. Ford
was incarcerated for 40 days; James
, the Washington livery stable owner from whom Booth
hired his horse; John M. Lloyd
, the innkeeper who rented Mrs. Surratt's
Maryland tavern and gave Booth and Herold carbines, rope, and
whiskey the night of April 14; and Samuel Cox and Thomas A. Jones
, who helped Booth and Herold escape
across the Potomac.
All of those listed above and more were rounded up, imprisoned, and
released. Ultimately, the suspects were narrowed down to just eight
prisoners, seven men and one woman: Samuel Arnold
, George Atzerodt
, David Herold
, Michael O'Laughlen
, Edmund Spangler
, and Mary Surratt
The eight suspects were tried by a military tribunal
. The transcript of the
trial was recorded by Benn Pitman and several assistants, and was
published in 1865. The fact that they were tried by a military
tribunal provoked criticism from both Edward Bates
and Gideon Welles
, who believed that a civil court
should have presided. Attorney General James Speed
, on the other hand, justified the
use of a military tribunal on grounds that included the military
nature of the conspiracy and the existence of martial law
in the District of Columbia.
in the Ex parte Milligan decision,
States Supreme Court banned the use of military tribunals in places
where civil courts were operational.) The odds were further stacked
against the defendants by rules that required only a simple
majority of the officer jury for a guilty verdict and a two-thirds
majority for a death sentence.
Nor could the defendants
appeal to anyone other than President Johnson.
The trial lasted for about seven weeks, with 366 witnesses
testifying. Louis Weichmann, released from custody, was a key
witness. The verdict was given on June 30 and all of the defendants
were found guilty. Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and
George Atzerodt were sentenced to death by hanging
; and Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael
O'Laughlen were sentenced to life in prison. Mudd escaped execution
by a single vote, the tribunal having voted 5-4 to hang him. Edmund
Spangler was sentenced to imprisonment for six years. Oddly, after
sentencing Mary Surratt to hang, five of the jurors signed a letter
recommending clemency, but Johnson refused to stop the execution.
(Johnson later claimed he never saw the letter.)
Powell, Herold, and Atzerodt were hanged in the Old Arsenal
Penitentiary on July 7, 1865.
Mary Surratt was the first
woman hanged by the U.S. government. O'Laughlen died in prison of
in 1867. Mudd, Arnold, and
Spangler were pardoned in February 1869 by President Johnson
The degree of Dr. Mudd's culpability remained a controversy for
over a century after his death. Some, including Mudd's grandson
, claimed that Mudd was
innocent of any wrongdoing and that he had been imprisoned merely
for treating a man who came to his house late at night with a
fractured leg. Over a century after the assassination, Presidents
and Ronald Reagan
both wrote letters to Richard
Mudd agreeing that his grandfather committed no crime. However
others, including authors Edward
and James Swanson, point out that Samuel Mudd
visited with Booth three times in the months before the failed
kidnapping attempt. The first time was November 1864 when Booth,
looking for help in his kidnapping plot, was directed to Mudd by
agents of the Confederate secret service. In December, Booth met
with Mudd again and stayed the night at his farm. Later that
December, Mudd went to Washington and introduced Booth to a
Confederate agent he knew—John Surratt. Additionally, George
Atzerodt testified that Booth sent supplies to Mudd's house in
preparation for the kidnap plan. Mudd lied to the authorities who
came to his house after the assassination, claiming that he did not
recognize the man who showed up on his doorstep in need of
treatment and giving false information about where Booth and Herold
went. He also hid the monogrammed boot that he had cut off Booth's
injured leg behind a panel in his attic,but the thorough search of
Mudd's house soon revealed this further evidence against him. One
hypothesis is that Dr. Mudd was active in the kidnapping plot,
likely as the person the conspirators would turn to for medical
treatment in case Lincoln were injured, and that Booth thus
remembered the doctor and went to his house to get help in the
early hours of April 15.
Lincoln was the first American President to be assassinated. His
assassination had a long-lasting impact upon the United States, and
he was mourned around the country. As a result of his
assassination, there were attacks in many cities against those who
expressed support for Booth. On the Easter
after Lincoln's death, clergymen around the country
praised Lincoln in their sermons. Millions of people came to Lincoln's
funeral procession in Washington, D.C. on April 19, 1865, and as
his body was transported through New York to Springfield,
His body and funeral train
were viewed by millions along
the route. Among those who viewed the funeral procession was future
president Theodore Roosevelt
Lincoln's funeral procession in New
After Lincoln's death, Ulysses S.
called him, "Incontestably
the greatest man I ever knew". Southern-born Elizabeth Blair
said that, "Those of
southern born sympathies know now they have lost a friend willing
and more powerful to protect and serve them than they can now ever
hope to find again".Andrew Johnson
was sworn in as President following Lincoln's death. Johnson became
one of the least popular presidents in American history. He was
in 1868 but the Senate
failed to convict him by one
vote. William Seward recovered from his wounds and continued to
serve as Secretary of State throughout Johnson's presidency. He
later negotiated the Alaska
, then known as Seward's Folly
, by which the
United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. The town of Seward,
Alaska and Alaska's Seward Peninsula are named after him.
Rathbone and Clara Harris married two years after the
assassination, and Rathbone went on to become the US consul to Hanover,
However, Rathbone later went mad and, in
1883, shot Clara and then stabbed her to death. He spent the rest
of his life in a German asylum for the criminally insane.
tried to reopen his theater a
couple of months after the murder but a wave of outrage forced him
to cancel. In 1866, the federal government purchased the building
from Ford, tore out the insides, and turned it into an office
building. In 1893, the inner structure collapsed, killing 22
clerks. It was later used as a warehouse, then it lay empty until
it was restored to its 1865 appearance. Ford's Theatre reopened in
1968 both as a museum of the assassination and a working playhouse.
The Presidential Box is never occupied. The Petersen House was
purchased in 1896 as the "House Where Lincoln Died;" it was the
first piece of real estate ever acquired by the federal government
as a memorial. Today, Ford's and the Petersen House are
operated together as the Ford's Theatre National Historic
Army Medical Museum, now named the National Museum of Health and
Medicine, has retained in its collection several artifacts relating
to the assassination.
Currently on display are the bullet
that hit Lincoln, the probe used by Barnes, pieces of Lincoln's
skull and hair, and the surgeon's cuff stained with Lincoln's
blood. The chair in which Lincoln was shot is on
display at the Henry
Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan.
Abraham Lincoln was honored on the centennial of his birth when his
portrait was placed on the U.S. one-cent coin
Memorial in Washington, D.C., was opened in
- Prisoner exchange
- Kauffman, pp. 130–134.
- Bob Brewer Shadow of the Sentinel, p. 67, Simon &
Schuster, 2003 ISBN 978-0743219686
- Kauffman, p. 174, 437 n. 41.
- Kauffman, pp. 185–6 and 439 n. 17.
- Swanson, p. 25.
- Swanson, p. 6
- p. 116-117 of Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 1847-1865 by
Ward Hill Lamon (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1994).
- Goodwin, p. 728.
- Kunhardt, Lincoln, p. 346
- Swanson, p. 13
- Steers, p. 108–9
- Swanson, p. 19
- Steers, p. 112
- Kauffman, p. 212.
- Vowell, p. 45
- Swanson, p. 32.
- Lincoln in story; the life of the
martyr-president told in authenticated anecdotes, by Silas
Gamaliel Pratt. New York, D. Appleton and co., 1901 (available on
- Kauffman, pp. 224–5.
- Swanson, p. 39.
- entry on John Parker at Mr. Lincoln's White House
- John F. Parker: The Guard Who Abandoned His Post at
the Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination website
- Swanson, pp. 42–3
- Samuel Mudd later fixed his fibula, and received four years in
prison for this.
- Goodwin, p. 739.
- Swanson, p. 48.
- Swanson, p. 49
- Steers, p. 120.
- Steers, p. 121–22
- Swanson, p. 78
- / Henry Safford
- Steers, p. 123–24
- Steers, p. 127–8
- Steers, p. 134
- George Alfred Townsend, The Life, Crime and Capture of John
Wilkes Booth. (ISBN 978-0976480532)
- Goodwin, p. 736.
- Swanson, p. 54.
- Swanson, p. 58.
- Goodwin, p. 737.
- Swanson, p. 59.
- Sandburg, p. 275.
- Swanson, p. 61
- Goodwin, p. 735.
- Steers, p. 166–7
- Sandburg, p. 335.
- Sandburg, p. 334.
- U.S. Senate: Art & History Home. " Andrew Johnson, 16th Vice President (1865)",
United States Senate. Retrieved on February 17, 2006.
- Swanson, p. 67–8
- Swanson, p. 81–2
- Swanson, p. 87
- Swanson, pp. 131, 153
- Swanson, p. 163.
- Swanson, p. 224.
- Swanson, p. 326.
- Swanson, p. 331.
- Swanson, p. 335.
- Swanson, pp. 336–340
- Steers, p. 174–9
- Steers, p. 169
- Swanson, p. 27
- Steers, p. 178
- Kunhardt, Dorothy, pp. 186-188
- Kunhardt, Dorothy, p. 188
- Steers, pp.213–4
- Steers, pp. 222–3
- Steers, p. 227.
- Swanson, pp. 362, 365.
- Linder, D: " Biography of Mary Surratt, Lincoln Assassination
Conspirator", University of Missouri–Kansas City. Retrieved on
December 10, 2006.
- Swanson, p. 367.
- Swanson, pp. 211–2, 378
- Steers, pp. 234–5
- Vowell, pp. 59–61
- Swanson, pp. 126–9
- Sandburg, p. 350.
- Sandburg, p. 357.
- Swanson, p. 213.
- Sandburg, p. 394.
- Goodwin, p. 747.
- Goodwin, p. 744.
- Stadelmann, M: U.S. Presidents For Dummies, p. 355.
Hungry Minds, 2002.
- Goodwin, p. 752.
- Goodwin, p. 751.
- Swanson, p. 372
- Swanson, pp. 381–2
- Bishop, Jim. The Day Lincoln Was
Shot. Harper, New York, 1955.
- Goodwin, Doris Kearns.
Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln.
Simon and Schuster, New York, 2005. ISBN 978-0-684-82490-1
- Kauffman, Michael W. American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and
the Lincoln Conspiracies. Random House, New York, 2004. ISBN
- Kunhardt, Dorothy Meserve, and
Kunhardt Jr., Phillip B. Twenty Days. Castle Books, 1965.
- Kunhardt Jr., Phillip B., Kunhardt III, Phillip, and Kunhardt, Peter W. Lincoln: An
Illustrated Biography. Gramercy Books, New York, 1992. ISBN
- Lattimer, Dr John. Kennedy and
Lincoln, Medical & Ballistic Comparisons of Their
Assassinations. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York. 1980.
ISBN 978-0-15-152281-1 [includes description and pictures of
Steward's jaw splint, NOT a neck brace]
- Sandburg, Carl. Abraham
Lincoln: The War Years IV. Harcourt, Brace & World,
- Steers, Edward. Blood on
the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. University
Press of Kentucky, 2001. ISBN 9780813191515
Jr., Edward, and Holzer, Harold, eds.. The Lincoln
Assassination Conspirators: Their Confinement and Execution, as
Recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft.
Louisiana State University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8071-3396-5
- Swanson, James. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's
Killer. Harper Collins, 2006. ISBN 9780060518493
- Vowell, Sarah. Assassination
Vacation. Simon and Schuster, 2005. ISBN 0743260031
- Donald E. Wilkes, Jr.. Lincoln Assassinated! (Part 1) & Part 2 (2005).