Lincoln’s Death, New Nation: April 1865 to 1877

Lincoln’s Assassination

Where was John Wilkes Booth when the Civil War commenced?

He was living in Maryland, but he had a peripatetic life, often traveling to New York City or Boston to give a performance, then hastening back. By sheer chance, he was one of the militiamen summoned to observe while John Brown was hanged in December 1859, and Booth sometimes traced his affection for the South to that event. As the Civil War gained momentum, John Wilkes’ Southern sympathies became more pronounced. By the end of 1864, he was engaged in discussions and conversations and conspiracies, most of which revolved around a plan to kidnap, rather than kill, the president.


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