Abraham Lincoln


Who was President Lincoln’s assassin?

John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a popular actor who toured the country. He also was a Confederate sympathizer who had a deep hatred of President Lincoln. He and his associates plotted to kill President Lincoln, Secretary of State William Seward, and Vice President Andrew Johnson. They hoped to throw the federal government into disarray. Only Booth succeeded in killing his target. As an actor who knew John Ford, the owner of the theatre, Booth got access to various parts of the building. Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head while he sat in the presidential box at the theatre. Then Booth leaped from the box onto the stage. Federal authorities later shot and killed Booth on April 26 in a barn outside of Washington.

One of Booth’s co-conspirators, Lewis Powell, was assigned to kill Secretary of State William Seward. Powell went to Seward’s home, knocked the secretary’s son Frederick to the floor, and attacked Seward while he was sleeping. He managed to stab Seward several times, but the secretary of state recovered. Later, Powell was apprehended, and he was executed in July 1865.


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