The Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

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         The Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln             By:  F. Scott Hill

John Wilkes Booth’s original plot to kidnap President Lincoln turned into an assassination.  At approximately 10:15 p.m. on April 14th, 1865, the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was shot in the back of the head while attending a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, District of Columbia.  “At 7:22 the following morning… [he] took his last breath. (2)”

Booth began to develop his kidnapping plot in the late summer of 1864.  The plan was to take the President to Richmond, Virginia (the Confederate capital), and hold him in return for Confederate prisoners of the Civil War.  An attempt was made on March 17, 1865, but failed when the President changed his plans.

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. Two days later Lincoln spoke from the White House to a crowd gathered outside. Booth was present as Lincoln suggested in his speech that voting rights be granted to certain blacks. Booth was infuriated. He decided that his kidnapping plan no longer made sense; the President would have to be assassinated.

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On the morning of April 14, 1865, during breakfast, President Lincoln and his wife Mary agreed to attend the comedy play ‘Our American Cousin’ starring actress Laura Keene.  After breakfast, he met with the recently appointed Minister to Spain, John P. Hale.  Coincidentally, Hale’s daughter was engaged to a well known actor named John Wilkes Booth.

That evening, the President cut short a meeting with former Congressman George Ashmun, when he realized that he would be late for the play, and promised that they would continue their meeting the following morning.  President and Mrs. Lincoln traveled in their ...

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