The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member JimmyEv
N 38° 53.806 W 077° 01.550
18S E 324317 N 4307271
Quick Description: On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln sat in the State Box enjoying the play “Our American Cousin.” An actor, John Wilkes Booth, crept into the box and shot President Lincoln in the head.
Location: District of Columbia, United States
Date Posted: 11/1/2007 6:55:05 PM
Waymark Code: WM2GW9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 251

Long Description:

President Lincoln, the sixteenth American president, was the first to be assassinated. John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, was planning what was basically a coup d’etat to either overthrow the American government or at least send it into temporary chaos. The plan involved the assassination of the President, as well as the two men that would succeed Lincoln in the presidency - the Vice-President, Andrew Johnson, and the Secretary of State, William Seward. Only the assassination of Lincoln was successful.

Planning took place in the home of Mary Surrat. Booth first suggested a kidnaping plot, to simply throw the Union into chaos with its missing top-level politicians. Eventually the plot was changed from a simple kidnaping to assassination.

It was merely five days after the surrender of the Confederacy that Booth killed Lincoln. Simultaneously, the attack on William Seward was carried out by Lewis Powell and David Herold at Seward’s home. Herold waited with the horses outside of the house. Powell entered the house, where Seward was bed-ridden, recovering from an accident. Powell entered his room and tried to slit the Secretary’s throat. But Seward was wearing a metal neck brace as a result of the accident. This caused Powell great difficulty; his knife didn’t pierce the neck brace. The stabbing deteriorated into a struggle between Seward and Powell. Eventually others in the home heard the struggle and drove Powell off.

At the same time Lincoln and Seward were being killed, George Atzerodt was supposed to be killing Vice-President Johnson. But he didn’t even attempt the murder.

In the end, the only successful assassination resulting from the conspiracy was Lincoln’s. After shooting Lincoln, John Booth jumped on the stage, shouted, and fled through the back door. Booth and Herold, attempting to cross the Potomac, rendezvoused at the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd in Maryland. Dr. Mudd treated wounds Booth had sustained during his escape from Washington. The two men were then hid in a swamp by Thomas Jones. Union soldiers caught-up with Mudd and Booth on April 26, eleven days after the assassination, at a barn where the two were hiding. Herold surrendered; Booth was shot by a Union soldier.

Eight of Booth’s conspirators were tried by a military tribunal. All eight were found guilty. Four of the conspirators - Lewis Powell, David Herold, George Atzerodt and Mary Surrat - were sentenced to death. They were hanged two days after sentencing. Mary Surrat was the first female executed by the federal government. Three of the conspirators, including Dr. Mudd, received life in prison. The eighth defendant was sentenced to six years in prison. Dr. Mudd, along with two others, was pardoned by President Johnson in 1869, giving rise to even larger conspiracy rumors that have never been proven.

Date of crime: 04/14/1865

Public access allowed: yes

Fee required: yes

Web site: [Web Link]

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