The Lincoln Assassination



Interpretation Of the Assassination
Interpretation Of the Assassination

















Overview

Lincoln, May 10th 1860
Lincoln, May 10th 1860
Abraham Lincoln, the president of the United States of American, led the union from 1861 until his assassination on april 14th of 1865. Lincoln was an essential part in the movement to abolish slavery, however he was assassinated before he had the chance to finish his work. Abraham Lincoln carried out his command in an extremely tactful manner and was unswayed by other opinions. His leadership in the Civil War allowed the Union to overcome the Confederacy and and cause all but a small regime of Confederates to surrender by the time of his assassination. Lincoln had accomplished a great feat in leading the Union army and Emancipating the slaves however his life was cut short while watching a comedy at Ford's theater in Washington D.C.. John Wilkes Booth and a group of conspirators including David Herold, David Atzerodt, and Lewis Powell planned to assassinate Lincoln along with vice-president Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward. However there was no attempt made on Andrew Johnson, and Seward survived stab wounds inflicted by Lewis Powell leaving Lincoln as the only one who did not survive.







John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth was born on May Tenth 1838 and died while fleeing Washington after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln. Booth grew up in Baltimore Maryland and was the 9th child of Junius Booth and Mary Anne Holmes. Throughout Booth's Life he aspired to being an actor and following in his father's footsteps, and eventually Booth achieved this goal and became a renowned actor throughout the Nation. However Booth also grew up a racist and southern sympathizer and is quoted "This country was formed for the white not for the black man. And looking upon African slavery from the same stand-point, as held by those noble framers of our Constitution, I for one, have ever considered it, one of the greatest blessings (both for themselves and us) that God ever bestowe
d upon a favored nation." Booth had earlier witnessed the hanging of John Brown and in the Late Summer of 1864 he made his plans to kidnap president Lincoln. However after a failed kidnapping attempt and listening to a speech from Lincoln about the possibility of voting rights for Blacks he became furious and soon drew up new plans to throw the U.S. Government into turmoil.






Assasination

Modern Day Fords Theatre
Modern Day Fords Theatre
On April 14th 1868 the President, Abraham Lincoln attended a showing of a comedy, Our American Cousin, at Ford’s theater as a diversion from the great stress of the War. He was accompanied by Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancée Clara Harris. At around ten o’clock Booth madehis way through theatre. Lincoln’s bodyguard had however gone to a nearby tavern with Lincoln’s footman and coachman while Booth crept up. His prescence not questioned as he was a renowned actor. At a point where Booth knew there would be great laughter he crept through the door and shot Lincoln behind the his left ear. As Rathbone heard the shot he tried to stop Booth from escaping however Booth drew his knife and stabbed his arm. But as Rathbone recovered and made a second attempt at Booth but Boothjumped fromthe Presidential Box to the stage, breaking his leg in the fall, and by most accounts shouted
“Sic Semper Tyrannis”, “Thus always to tyrants.” The wounds that Lincoln
Sustained from Booth’s Derringer pistol were fatal and he died at 7:22 AM on April 14th.






Public Reaction

4506T-EZ.jpg
Drawing Representing North and South United

During Lincoln's Presidency he was despised by many in the south including many southern politicians.However after his assassination some many who even disliked Lincoln were enraged. The north in particular was struck with grief and anger in its mourning. Some preachers in the north even praised lincoln as a paralell to Moses and few compared him as a second coming of Jesus. However on both sides North and South people were repulsed by the assassination. Many in the south had sympathy for Lincoln but fear also for the Confederacy as it was now at the mercy of Andrew Johnson. Lincoln final burial was made in Springfield Illinois after a 14 day funeral procession by train throughout the nation allowing the eyes of over 1.5 million Americans
to look upon his face.




Manhunt

Boston Corbett
Boston Corbett

Throughout the weeks that followed the U.S. had a huge manhunt for those few conspirators still at large. There was a 50,000 dollar reward for Boothand 25,000 dollar rewards for both David Herold and John Surrat (however these rewards prove to only provide the investigation with false information of those seeking the money. The first of the conspirators to be caught was Lewis Powell, the man who attempted to murder William Seward. Next George Atzerodt was caught all the while Booth was making his way deeper into south. While booth was on the run with David Herold he read newspapers about the South's reaction to the assassination and was shocked that he was not applauded for his actions. Soon however a farmer in Port Royal Virginia, who thought they were stealing horses caught them in his tobacco shed and locked them there until the Union Calvary reached them. When the soldiers realized who was in the barn they called for surrender from and Herold came out quickly however Booth would not. Soon they tried to smoke Booth out setting fire to the barn but a union soldier by the name of Boston Corbett shot Booth through a crack in the wall against orders. Ironically Booth sustained similar injuries as the ones he inflicted on president Lincoln.





Hanging of the Four Conspirators
Hanging of the Four Conspirators

Trials

Those who had been caught had been held on an Ironclad in the Potomac waiting for their trial which was held on May 11th of 1865, almost amonth after the assassination. The trial would be run by Judge General Joseph Holt in a military court. The Trial was originally held in secrecy but was later opened to reporters to numerous complaints. Those directly involved in the attempted murders, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, and David Herold were hanged. Sam Arnold and Michael O'laughlin received life sentences for involvement in the kidnapping conspiracy along with Sam Mudd who assisted Booth's Escape. The last person Mary Surrat was hanged controversialy as she was the first woman in U.S. History to be hanged however she had lied to authorities about knowing Lewis Powell and housed the conspirators in her own Home. Her son however John Surrat escaped to europe and when eventually extradited when in egypt was able to escape his trialuntouched by a divided jury and led a long full life.



More Information

Abraham Lincoln Assassination conspiracy
John Wilkes Booth
Assassination and Aftermath
Assassination General
Civil War




Works Cited

"Abraham Lincoln Assassination." Abraham Lincoln Assassination. Web. 29 May 2012. <http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln.html>.

"Abraham Lincoln's Assassination." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 29 May 2012. <http://www.history.com/topics/abraham-lincoln- assassination>.

"Lincoln Assassination and Aftermath." Web. 29 May 2012. <http://www.americancivilwar.asn.au/conf/2006/lincoln_assassination.pdf>.

"The Lincoln Assassination: New Research Unravels Old Myths." This Week in the Civil War. Web. 29 May 2012. <http://thisweekinthecivilwar.com/?p=450/>.