Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

As the Civil War was winding down, President Abraham Lincoln went to the theater to watch a comedy with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. The date was April 14, 1865. A well-known stage actor, John Wilkes Booth, entered the President’s unguarded box at the Ford Theater, and shot him in the back of the head. President Lincoln died the next day. He was the first American president to be assassinated.

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Eyewitness to History: The Death of President Lincoln, 18655 stars

"The President had been carried across the street from the theater to the house of a Mr. Peterson. We entered by ascending a flight of steps above the basement and passing through a long hall to the rear, where the President lay extended on a bed, breathing heavily." Read about the events of April 14, 1865, as witnessed by Gideon Welles, Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy. After a brief introduction, the story switches to Welles' first-person account (about midway down the page).

FBI: The Case of Abraham Lincoln's Assassination Pistol4 stars

The gun that John Wilkes Booth used to shoot President Lincoln was dropped at the Ford National Theater, and put on display there in 1940. But in the 1960s the gun was allegedly stolen, and replaced with a replica. The FBI Laboratory was called in 1997 to determine whether the gun at the Ford Theater was authentic or a fake. Visit this FBI webpage to learn about the investigation and their conclusion.

Library of Congress: Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln4 stars

"There were at least four conspirators in addition to Booth involved in the mayhem. Booth was shot and captured while hiding in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, and died later the same day, April 26, 1865. Four co-conspirators, Paine, George Atzerodt, David Herold, and Mary Surratt, were hanged at the gallows of the Old Penitentiary, on the site of present-day Fort McNair, on July 7, 1865." Visit this Library of Congress mini-site to view the time line, and peruse the image gallery.

Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Is There a Surgeon in the House?5 stars

Another primary source was discovered in 2012 when the papers of Dr. Charles A. Leale were found. Dr. Leale was the doctor who responded when someone in the Ford Theater shouted, "Is there a surgeon in the house?" Dr. Leale was 23 years old, and had received his medical license just six weeks earlier. His account can be read here, after an introduction that sets the scene at the Ford Theater on the night of April 14, 1865.

Roger J. North: Lincoln's Assassination5 stars

Roger Norton is a retired history teacher with a "particular interest" in Lincoln's Assassination. He created this site for students, teachers, "and anyone with an interest in introductory information on Abraham Lincoln's assassination." It is the most comprehensive of the sites included in this roundup, and a must-visit for students writing school reports. Topics include conspiracy theories, the life of John Wilkes Booth, and the military commission trial of eight defendants accused of conspiring with Booth.

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

America's Story: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Death of Abraham Lincoln, April 15-26, 1865

Flickr: Ford's Theater NPS

Snopes: Linkin' Kennedy

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Assassination of Abraham Lincoln." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Aug. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published January 28, 2014. Last modified January 28, 2014.

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