Abraham Lincoln's Assassination
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THE PETERSEN HOUSE (WHERE PRESIDENT LINCOLN DIED)


Library of Congress Photograph
Abraham Lincoln was carried up the steps in the center of the above photograph. The property, whose address was 453 Tenth Street (now 516 Tenth Street), had been purchased for $850 in 1849 by a tailor named William Petersen. Petersen is pictured to the left in a sketch from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 29, 1865.

One of the boarders at the Petersen House was young Henry Safford (pictured to the right). Safford heard a disturbance in the street and quickly went out the front door. He saw the president being carried into the street and yelled, "Bring him in here. Bring him in here." The invitation was accepted. Safford lived until February 17, 1917, and is buried in Springfield, Massachusetts.

SOURCE: Library of Congress
THE FRONT PARLOR OF THE PETERSEN HOUSE WHERE MARY AWAITED WORD ABOUT HER HUSBAND
Amazingly, during the previous month, John Wilkes Booth had rested on the exact same bed upon which the president died. In March 1865 actor Charles Warwick had rented the room. One day Booth visited Warwick and fell asleep on the very same bed President Lincoln later died upon.

Over the years there have been several misconceptions about the Petersen House and the Petersen family itself. Robert T. Bain, great, great, great grandson of William Petersen, has tried to set the record straight in his 2005 publication entitled Lincoln's Last Battleground: A Tragic Night Recalled. Click Here if you are interested in obtaining a copy of Robert Bain's book.

The photograph of the front parlor of the Petersen House came from p. 21 of The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Brendan January (New York, Children's Press, 1998).

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