Abraham Lincoln Assassination

John Wilkes Booth initially plotted to kidnap President Lincoln early in 1864, in order to trade for ransom and the release of confederate prisoners of war. As a consequence of unfolding events Booth switched gears and a new desperate plan to cripple the union and help the confederacy emerged.

On April 14, 1865 the kidnapping plot emerged as a killing rampage attempt of several high officials in the Federal Government. Booth assigned the assassination of President Lincoln for he alone to relish, deligating the others to his co conspirators.

Lewis Powell was directed to kill Secretary of State Seward.  Powell entered Secretary Seward's home at about 10:20 P.M. and Savagely attacked him with a knife. Seward miraculously survived the assassination attempt and remained Secretary of State for the Johnson Presidency.

George Atzerodt's target was Vice President Andrew Johnson, but Atzerodt failed miserably in his assassination attempt, as a result Johnson was never in any real danger.

General Ulysses S. Grant was also selected by Booth for assassination for his part in the Civil War. Fortunately Ulysses Grant and wife Julia Dent Grant changed their initial plans and declined to join the President at Ford's Theater that fateful evening.

Despite Booth's attempts to alter the course of history on behalf of the Confederate South by murdering President Lincoln, Vice President Johnson and General Grant would become the next two Presidents of the United States.

John Wilkes Booth Assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, while he enjoyed a play with First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, at the Fords Theater.

Booth also entered the Presidential box at about 10:20 in the evening and undetected crept up behind the President and shot him in the back of the head at point blank range, with a derringer pistol He then Jumped over the balcony to the stage below, breaking his leg when he landed.

Limping on a broken leg, Booth managed to escape through a back door and rendezvous with Herold. They immediatley headed for Dr. Samuel Mudds farm. Dr. Mudd attended to Booth's broken left leg and allowed the two men to stay the night. They left Mudds farm the next morning and after several days of running and hiding, found their final refuge in Richard Garret's barn.

An intensive military man hunt ensued for twelve days. Booth was finally tracked down, cornered and surrounded by the U.S. Military, Herold surrendered. Booth stayed to fight and met with his fatal demise. Nine assassination Conspirators were subsequently arrested and Eight convicted.

Wanted poster for capture of Abraham Lincoln Assassins



1865 April 9 General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant ending the American Civil War between the North and South

April 11
In celebration of the Union victory, Lincoln gives what would be his last Presidential Speech on the front lawn of the White House. Present among the crowd stood would be assassin John Wilkes Booth. Booth A famous theater actor and sympathizer of the south.
April 14 President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated at the Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head, then fled through a back door of the Theater
April 15 John Wilkes Booth and Herold arrive at Dr. Samuel Mudds Home at about four in the morning. Mudd treats booth for a broken leg
Abraham Lincoln dies from his gunshot wound to the back of the head at 7:22 in the morning
Vice President Andrew Johnson assumes the Presidency upon Lincoln's death
April 19 Lincoln's funeral is held in the White House East Room
April 26 John Wilkes Booth is hunted and found hiding in old man Garrett's barn with friend David Herold. Herold surrendered to the soldiers but Booth was shot after the barn was set ablaze. Booth died of his wound a few hours later
May 1 Newly sworn in President, Andrew Johnson ordered the captured eight conspirators of the assassination of President Lincoln to be tried by a Military Commission
May 9 The Military Commission convenes
June 30 Edman Spangler was sentenced to six years in prison while Dr. Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O'Laughlen are sentenced to life. Mary Surrat, George Atzerodt, Lewis Powell and David Lee Herold are sentenced to die by hanging
July 7 Atzerodt, Powell, Mary Surrat, and Herold were hanged in front of the Old Arsenal Building
Hanging of Abraham Lincoln Conspiritors

Abraham Lincoln Assassination Conspirators

Proclaimed assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. Booth was a famous theater actor who enamored all who met him. He performed in Ford's theater and new the building well. He continued to perform at Ford's theater unit mid March 1865. He left the stage in order to concentrate on crafting his plot against President Lincoln.

MARY SURRATT (1823-1865)
Mary owned and operated the Surratt Boardinghouse where Booth and his co-conspirators were said to have boarded and visited often. Mary Surratt was the first woman ever executed by the United States.

Mary Surratt's son, John Harrison Surratt (1844-1916) an original Booth co-conspirator in the Lincoln kidnapping plot. The prosecution could not refute eye witness testimony placing Surratt in New York at the time the assassination took place. He was released after a hung jury. Young Surratt later spoke about being involved in the kidnapping plot but emphatically denied knowing about the Lincoln assassination

Arrested as a co-conspirator in the assassination of President Lincoln on April 20. In his confession Atzerodt implicated Mary Surratt and Dr. Mudd. He was found guilty before a military tribunal and sentenced to death by hanging.

LEWIS POWELL (1844-1865)
Powell was a major Booth co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Powell's part in the plot to murder top government leaders was to murder Secretary of State Seward. David Herald waited outside Sewards's home while Powell confronted the occupants. Family members sustained injuries from the brawl. Powell managed to reach Seward and he stabbed him several times. Powell then fled the scene to find Herald nowhere in sight. Powell was captured at the Surratt Boardinghouse and later sentenced and hung for his crimes.

DAVID LEE HEROLD (1842-1865)
Herold fled the Secretary of State Seward's home to meet up with Booth. On April 26, 1865 Herald was cornered in a barn by soldiers along with Booth. After a standoff herald decided to surrender. He maintained his innocence throughout interrogation and trial. However, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.

DR. SAMUEL MUDD (1833-1883)

Mudd treated the broken left leg of Booth on April 15, 1865. Mudd could not convince the authorities he did not know or recognize Booth and was sentenced to life in prison. After serving just three and a half years, Mudd was pardoned by President Johnson in 1869.

SAMUEL ARNOLD (1834-1906)                                                   Childhood friend of Booth. Arnold confessed to the being involved in the original conspiracy to kidnap President Lincoln but maintained his innocence to the assassination. Arnold was sentenced to life in prison. In March of 1869 Arnold was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson.

A boyhood neighbor of Booth, Spangler was an original co-conspiritor in the plot to abduct Lincoln. He turned himself into authorities on April 17, 1865. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

EDMAN SPANGLER (1825-1875)
Spangler was working at Fords's theater the night Lincoln was shot. He was arrested on April 17, 1865 as a Booth Conspirator and sentenced to six years in prison. In 1869 President Andrew Johnson pardoned Spangler and he was released

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"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
~Abraham Lincoln

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