Event Page

The Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

(1865)

John Wilkes Booth plotted and carried out the assassination of President Lincoln. Originally, the plan was to abduct President Lincoln and take him to Virginia, but when General Lee surrendered, Booth and his comrades were forced to change their plans. Fatefully, on April 15, 1865, Booth shot and killed President Lincoln. Through his actions, Booth hoped to reinvigorate the Confederacy, but the assassination only strengthened the Union's cause and destroyed any hope of a Confederate

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Pictures & Records (94)

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LewisPowell.jpg
LewisPowell.jpg
Lewis Payne, in sweater, seated and manacled. Library of Congress. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cwpb.04208
marysurratt.jpg
marysurratt.jpg
Source: Public Domain; http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/lincolnconspiracy/surrattm2.jpg
Georgeatzerodt.jpg
Georgeatzerodt.jpg
Source: George A. Atzerodt, a conspirator. Photographed by Alexander Gardner. Library of Congress. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cwpb.04216
DavidHerold.jpg
DavidHerold.jpg
Source: Washington Navy Yard, D.C. David E. Herold, a conspirator. Library of Congress. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cwpb.04218
ExecutionLincolnassassins.jpg
ExecutionLincolnassassins.jpg
Source: Library of Congress. Taken by Alexander Gardner, 1865. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cwpb.04230
Page 103
Page 103
Page 1
Page 1
Fords_Theatre.jpg
Fords_Theatre.jpg
Ford's Theater
Jwbooth.jpeg
Jwbooth.jpeg
John Wilkes Booth
MarySurratthouse.jpg
MarySurratthouse.jpg
Mary Surratt's House where much of the conspiracy was planned.
Sketch of Lincoln Assassination
Sketch of Lincoln Assassination
Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Plan of Ford's Theatre
Plan of Ford's Theatre
Courtesy of The National Park Service.
Plan of Lincoln's box at Ford's Theatre
Plan of Lincoln's box at Ford's Theatre
This illustration appeared in Harper's Weekly April 29, 1865.
The stage at Ford's Theatre
The stage at Ford's Theatre
This image, by the Mathew Brady gallery, shows the stage setting as it looked on the night of Lincoln's assassination.
Interior of Ford's Theatre
Interior of Ford's Theatre
A photo taken by the Mathew Brady Gallery from the front of the Dress Circle, showing the stage and boxes as they looked the night of Lincoln's assassination, April 14, 1865.
Interior of Ford's Theatre
Interior of Ford's Theatre
A photo taken by the Mathew Brady Gallery from the Dress Circle showing Lincoln's box as it looked the night of his assassination, April 14, 1865.
Interior of Ford's Theatre
Interior of Ford's Theatre
A photo taken by the Mathew Brady Gallery from the Family Circle Balcony of the theatre.
Interior of Ford's Theatre
Interior of Ford's Theatre
A photo by the Mathew Brady Gallery showing Lincoln's box as it looked the night of his assassination, April 14, 1865. The rocker occupied by the President can be seen in the right side of the box. A guard stands in the Dress Circle to the far right.
Exterior of Ford's Theatre
Exterior of Ford's Theatre
Ford's Theatre shortly after the assassination with mourning crepe and guards.
Lt. Charles A. Leale
Lt. Charles A. Leale
Doctor Leale was the first physician to reach President Lincoln. He gained access to the box within minutes of Booth's escape. Note the mourning crepe on his sword.
Lincoln's rocker
Lincoln's rocker
The chair occupied by Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre the night of his assassination.
Exterior of Ford's Theatre
Exterior of Ford's Theatre
Stereo photo of Ford's Theatre taken shortly after the assassination showing mourning crepe and guards.
Interior of Ford's Theatre
Interior of Ford's Theatre
A stereo photo taken by the Mathew Brady Gallery showing Lincoln's box as it looked the night of his assassination, April 14, 1865.
The Assassination of President Lincoln
The Assassination of President Lincoln
A lithograph by H.H. Lloyd & Company.
Booth's pistol
Booth's pistol
The single-shot .44 caliber derringer Booth used to shoot the President. It was found in the theatre box and turned over to the police.
Booth's dagger
Booth's dagger
After stabbing Major Henry Rathbone, Booth leaped to the stage brandishing this weapon, known as a Rio Grande Camp Knife, as he fled the theatre.
Booth's compass
Booth's compass
The compass carried by John Wilkes Booth on his escape through southern Maryland and Virginia.
Booth's diary
Booth's diary
The diary carried by John Wilkes Booth on his escape through southern Maryland and Virginia.
Booth's diary
Booth's diary
The diary carried by John Wilkes Booth on his escape through southern Maryland and Virginia. Notice the controversial "missing" pages.
Sergeant Thomas H. (Boston) Corbett
Sergeant Thomas H. (Boston) Corbett
Sergeant Corbett served in Co. L, 16th New York Cavalry and is credited with shooting John Wilkes Booth. Photo by the Mathew Brady Gallery.

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The Hanging of Conspirators in the Lincoln Assassination: David Herold, Lewis Powell, Mary Surratt, and George Atzerodt

LewisPowell.jpg
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While many might know that John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, many do not know the nine others who were connected in some way to the conspiracy. Out of those nine, Lewis Powell, Mary Surratt, David Herold, and George Atzerodt died by hanging on July 7, 1865, around 1:15 pm after being convicted of conspiring to kill the president. One of those four, Lewis Powell (alias: Lewis Paine), also hanged for his crime of the attempted murder of the Secretary of State William Seward. Until the last moment, family members pleaded for the lives of these four legendary criminals, and legal support, especially for Mary, sought all avenues of appeal for their release. These documents display the written conviction of the four sentenced to death, and the Chicago Tribune’s account of the event up to and during the executions. This brief, yet haunting, account of their executions displays their dedication to the Confederate cause. History shows that had the Confederacy won, these four would have found fame and not nooses around their necks.

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Event Details

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Capturing John Wilkes Booth:
Boston Corbett: Shot Booth 1
Captured and killed: 26 Apr 1865 1
Found Booth: In the barn on the Garrett farm with David Herold 1
Co-Conspirators:
David Herold: hanged July 7, 1865; Met up with Booth after assassination of Lincoln, surrendered when Booth was killed 1
Dr. Samuel Mudd: Treated Booth’s broken leg after the assassination of Lincoln; sentenced to life in prison, pardoned by Pres. Johnson 1
Edman Spangler: sentenced to 6 years in prison; Convicted of being an accomplice to Booth; Held the door for him at Ford's Theater 1
George Atzerodt: Evidence found that it was his job to kill VP Andrew Johnson but he stayed at hotel bar all night; hanged July 7, 1865 1
John Surratt, Jr: In New York spying for the Confederacy on the night of the assassination, fled to Canada after assassination; 1
Lewis Powell: Attempted to assassinate Secretary of State William Seward, April 15, 1865; hanged July 7, 1865 1
Mary Surratt: hanged July 7, 1865; Provided housing and weapons for conspirators; also a chief architect of the plan 1
Michael O’Laughlen: Accused of plotting to assassinate General Ulysses S. Grant; Sentenced to life in prison, died 1867 1
Samuel Arnold: sentenced to life in prison, pardoned by Pres. Johnson; Part of the kidnapping conspiracy 1
Date:
From: April 15, 1865 at 10:15 pm 1
Event:
Name: Assassination of President Lincoln 1
Place:
Location: Ford’s Theater, 10th Street, Washington DC, USA 1
Quotes:
Abraham Lincoln: Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower." 1
John Wilkes Booth's diary: "For six months we had worked to capture. But, our cause being almost lost, something decisive and great must be done." 1
The Assassination:
Date: 15 Apr 1865 1
Individuals Involved: Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth 1
Place: Ford's Theater, Washington, D.C. 1
Time: approx. 10:15 pm 1
The Conspiracy:
Address: 252 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20003 1
Kidnap plan abandoned: April 7, 1865 Richmond falls to Union forces and Lee surrenders making the kidnapping plan pointless 1
Meeting at Gautier's Restaurant: 15 Mar 1865 1
Plan: Kidnap President Lincoln on March 17, 1865; plan failed when Lincoln changed his plans to attend the theater 1

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