The Assassination Of Pres. Lincoln

Have you ever wondered how Lincoln was really killed?


Abe Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, 1809. He was born in a log cabin on a farm in Hardin County, KY. His father was from Virginia but he grew up in Kentucky. Three years later he married Nancy Hanks, Abe's mother. Later in Abe's life his father sold his lands and took his family into the untraveled wilderness of Indiana and across the Ohio River. They began building a home and clearing the land and changing it into fields. All was well until in the summer of 1818, when the disease called milk sickness struck the area, the disease claimed the life of Mrs. Lincoln's uncle and aunt, as well as Mrs. Lincoln herself. After the deaths in the family, Abe's sister, Sarah, had the chore of being woman of the house. Later in Abe's life, he was engaged to Mary Todd. They had set the date for November 2, 1842. They were married on that date. Abe had plans to go to Congress just as the Mexican War broke out. Following this he was elected President of the United States.

John Wilkes Booth was born on May 10, 1838. He was an actor who perfomed parts in plays around the country. He played the leading role in some of William Shakespeare's plays. He was a racist and a Southern sympathizer during during the Civil War. Booth hated Abraham Lincoln because he represented everything that he was against. John Wilkes Booth blamed Abe Lincoln for all the South's problems. He wanted revenge for all of the South's problems.

In 1864, Booth began making plans to kidnap Abe Lincoln. He was going to take him to Richmond (the Confederate capital) and hold him in return for Confederate prisonors who were taken during the Cival War. In January of 1865, Booth had involved a group into his conspiracy. They were: Samuel Arnold, Micheal O'Laughen, John Surratt, Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt and David Herold. In Maryland and Washington, Booth met with Dr. Samuel Mudd. He began using Mary Surratt's boarding house to meet with the people involved in the conspiracy.

On March 17, 1865, the group plotted to kidnap Abraham Lincoln when he was scheduled to attend a play at a hospital in Washington. However the President changed his plans and stayed in the capital. When this happened, Booth's plans to kidnap Abe Lincoln failed.

At Appoomattox, on April 9, 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to the North. A couple of days later Lincoln gave a speech from the White House where Booth was attending. The speech said that voting rights should be given to the blacks. Upset by this, Booth then changed his plans to assassination.

On April 14, Booth dropped by Ford's Theater and heard that General Grant and the President would be going to the play that night. He held his final meeting with the group. He assigned Andrew Jackson to be killed at the Kirkwood House by Atzerodt. The Secretary of State, William Seward, was to bekilled by Powell and Herold. All the killings were to take place simultaneously at 10:15 p.m. that night. Booth wanted it to result in a weakness in the government and the South could come back.

The President arrived at the Theater at 8:30 p.m. Booth arrived at 9:30 p.m. He went next door to the saloon to get a drink while his horse held by a boy in the alley. He entered the theater after 10:00 p.m. and made his way toward the State Box where the President and others were seated. The president was sitting with Clara Harris, Mrs. Lincoln, and Henry Rathbone. General Grant didn't show up because he was tired from being in battle. The President's bodyguard, John Parker, had left his position. At 10:15 p.m. Booth opened the door to the State Box and shot Lincoln in the back of the head at near point blank range. He struggled with Rathbone and stabbed him in the arm and jumped about eleven feet onto the stage. He broke his ankle in the fall to the floor. He was thought to have yalled "Sic Semper Tyrannis" {As Always to Tyrants]. He then went out the back door, climbed on his horse and rode from the city.

Atzerodt didn't attempt to kill Johnson, Powell stabbed Seward but only wounding him. Herold escaped to meet up with Booth in Maryland where they stopped at Mary Surrat's Tavern for supplies. They arrived at Dr. Mudd's home where Dr. Mudd worked on Booth's leg. At 7:22 a.m. Lincoln died in Washington. Both men left Dr. Mudd's place and traveled south. On April 26, authorities caught up with them on a farm. Herold gave in but Booth didn't. The barn was set on fire but still Booth didn't come out. So the authorities shot him to death. The shooter was Sargent Boston Corbett, who didn't have orders to do what he did. An autopsy was done on the remains of Booth in Washington.

In days the rest of the group was arrested by the government, tried and found guilty on July 7, 1865. Mrs. Surratt, Powell, Atzerodt, and Herold were all hanged. Dr. Mudd was given a life term in prison. In 1869, President Andrew Johnson pardoned Dr. Mudd.

The Assassin

John Wilkes Booth


Created by: Joe & Adam
Revised 5/14/99.
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