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Abraham Lincoln's Assassination
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I am not a professional historian or writer. I taught American history for 28 years and was particularly interested in Abraham Lincoln's assassination. For 24 years my students did a mock trial simulating the real one that followed the assassination in 1865. If you have any questions, or simply would like to discuss the case, please e-mail me.

This website is intended for use by students, teachers, schools, and anyone with an interest in introductory information on Abraham Lincoln's assassination.
Abraham Lincoln
Willam Seward
"Assassination is not an American practice or habit, and one so vicious and so desperate cannot be engrafted into our political system. This conviction of mine has steadily gained strength since the Civil War began. Every day's experience confirms it. The President, during the heated season, occupies a country house near the Soldiers' Home, two or three miles from the city. He goes to and...from that place on horseback, night and morning, unguarded. I go there unattended at all hours, by daylight and moonlight, by starlight and without any light."

Secretary of State, William Seward, July 15, 1862

Abraham Lincoln

"I long ago made up my mind that if anybody wants to kill me, he will do it. If I wore a shirt of mail and kept myself surrounded by a bodyguard, it would be all the same. There are a thousand ways of getting at a man if it is desirable that he should be killed. Besides, in this case, it seems to me, the man who would come after me would be just as objectionable to my enemies -- if I have any."

Abraham Lincoln to journalist Noah Brooks in 1863

Mary Todd Lincoln
"The last day he lived was the happiest of his life."

Mary Todd Lincoln to Rev. Noyes W. Miner. Source: The Later Life and Religious Sentiments of Abraham Lincoln, a lecture by Rev. J.A. Reed. (Text in July 1873 edition of Scribner's Monthly)

GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 1865
Abraham Lincoln's Last Day

ROBERT LINCOLN AND EDWIN BOOTH
A Booth Saves a Lincoln

WHAT IF THE LINCOLNS HAD ATTENDED THE PLAY AT GROVER'S THEATRE?
Would the president still have been assassinated?
Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln
"I knowed they'd kill him. I ben awaiting fur it."

Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, Abraham's stepmother, upon being told the news of the assassination

WHY DID BOOTH WANT WILLIAM SEWARD ASSASSINATED?
If Andrew Johnson had also been assassinated as Booth planned, Senate President Pro Tempore Lafayette S. Foster of Connecticut would have become acting president pending an election of a new president. The process of electing a new president could only be set in motion by the secretary of state; thus Booth felt Seward's assassination would throw the Union government into "electoral chaos." A Presidential Succession law passed on March 1, 1792, was still in effect in 1865. It provided that the president pro tempore of the Senate was third in line to the presidency and the Speaker of the House was fourth. This law didn't make any succession provisions beyond the Speaker. For much more information on this theory please see the article entitled "Why Seward?" by Michael Maione and James O. Hall in the Spring 1998 edition of the Lincoln Herald.

MARY TODD LINCOLN'S ULTIMATE AGONY
Nightmare at Ford's Theatre

EXAMINING THE ASSASSIN'S REMAINS
John Wilkes Booth's Autopsy

THE SHOT THROUGH LINCOLN'S HAT
Lincoln Escapes Death in 1864

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE PEOPLE TRIED BY THE MILITARY COMMISSION IN 1865 AND JOHN SURRATT
Samuel Arnold
Samuel Arnold (sentenced to life)
George Atzerodt
George Atzerodt (sentenced to hang)
David Herold
David Herold (sentenced to hang)
Dr. Samuel Mudd
Dr. Samuel Mudd (sentenced to life)
Michael O'Laughlen
Michael O'Laughlen (sentenced to life)
Lewis Paine
Lewis Powell (sentenced to hang)
Edman Spangler
Edman Spangler (sentenced to 6 years)
John Surratt
John Surratt (escaped to Canada)
Mary Surratt
Mary Surratt (sentenced to hang)

The Surratt House Museum has a list of recommended Lincoln assassination books.


CLICK HERE to go to the bibliography for the Abraham Lincoln's Assassination website.


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