1 A B C F G H I K L M N O P R S T U W

Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

John Wilkes Booth, a prominent American actor, shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln in the state box at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., at approximately 10:20 p.m. on April 14, 1865.

Booth snuck up behind Lincoln as he watched a play, “Our American Cousin,” and shot him in the back of the head at point-blank range.

After the shooting, Booth jumped onto the stage and escaped through the back of the theater. He dropped his single-shot pistol in the state box, a black walnut stock inlaid with silver and manufactured by the Henry Deringer Company of Philadelphia.

Lincoln was carried across the street to a private home, where he died the following morning. Meanwhile, Union soldiers pursued Booth for 12 days through southern Maryland and Virginia.

He died of a gunshot wound on April 26 after refusing to surrender to Federal troops.

The murder of President Lincoln was part of a larger conspiracy that included a simultaneous attack on Secretary of State William H. Seward and the possible targeting of Vice President Andrew Johnson.

Assuming the Presidency after Lincoln’s death, Johnson considered the crime a military one, and he ordered that the eight accused conspirators be tried before a military commission. Dr. Robert King Stone, the Lincoln family physician, testified during the proceedings as one of 350 witnesses.

Booth’s pistol was displayed at the Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site in 1940.

Related Entries

Palazzo Vecchio
About Sightseers’ Delight 506 Articles
Sightseers’ Delight started publishing in June 2016. The site, published by The DeFeo Groupe, collects and curates content about places where historical events large and small happened. The site builds off the legacy of The Travel Trolley, which launched in June 2009. The site aimed to be a virtual version of the trolley tours offered in so many cities.