How Did Abraham Lincoln Die

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Fatally wounded shortly after 10 p.m. on April 15, 1865, while attending a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D. C., President Abraham Lincoln died a short time later at a boarding house across the street. Lincoln had arrived late for the performance of Our American Cousin, accompanied by his wife Mary and several invited guests, and the show was halted temporarily as they were escorted to the presidential box. Lincoln was greeted by applause from the audience before being seated in a rocking chair. Shortly thereafter, John Wilkes Booth entered through the back of Ford's about 9 p.m., and the well-known actor made his way backstage to a hallway adjacent to the presidential box. Lincoln's bodyguard had departed during intermission, leaving Booth a clear path to his intended target. Waiting for an opportune moment, Booth entered the rear of the presidential box and fired one shot into Lincoln's head. Lincoln fell forward and was soon supported by his wife. Booth made his escape by jumping to the stage below, where he fractured his fibula before fleeing from the theatre. Meanwhile, several doctors in attendance rushed to Lincoln's assistance. Though the President was still breathing, it was determined that the wound was mortal. He was borne across the street and into a first-floor bedroom at Petersen's Boarding House. Family and cabinet members arrived to hold vigil, but little could be done for the fallen President. Lincoln survived through the night, dying shortly after 7 a.m. 

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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President Lincoln was shot in Ford's Theater while attending the play "Our American Cousin." He was shot by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate soldier and sympathizer. There were three doctors in the theater, Charles Leale, Charles Taft, and Albert King. These men attended to the President and it was decided  to move the President across the street to William Petersen's Boarding House, as it was thought too dangerous to travel back to The White House. Other doctors were notified, including Lincoln's personal physican Dr. Robert Stone, who also sat with him in the room at the boarding house. The written account included such information as Lincoln's level of awareness, the hysteria of his wife, the opinions of the doctors, and a mention that his body had to be placed on an angle, as he was too tall for the bed. The wound was mortal and as a result all anyone could do was to keep the President as comfortable as possible. On the morning of April 15th,1865, less than one week after the Civil War ended the President died in William Petersen's Boarding House. He was 56 years old.

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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“Abraham Lincoln was shot on the evening of April 14, 1865, as he sat in the presidential box at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., watching a performance of the play Our American Cousin. The assassin was actor John Wilkes Booth. After shooting Lincoln, Booth jumped onto the stage, falling and breaking a leg. Wilkes limped away, calling out, "Sic semper tyrannis" (a Latin phrase meaning "Thus always to tyrants").”  President Lincoln lived through the night, attended by his family. He died shortly after 7:00 A.M. on April 15 at the White House. A few weeks later a search party found Booth in a Virginia barn, where he was fatally shot and killed.

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timothy082003 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer on April 14, 1865 in the Presidential box at Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. After the shooting, Lincoln was taken to a home across the street, where he died the next day.

Booth was later found to be hiding in a barn on Gannets Farm in Virginia, where he was killed by the militia who were in the process of arresting him. He had been unable to flee furter south due to a leg injury he had sustained at the theater while attempting ot jump onto the stage from the Presidential box.

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jbledbetter | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Abraham Lincoln died in Washington DC at Ford's Theatre. He was visiting the theater with his wife Mary, Major Henry Rathbone, and Clara Harris. He was supposed to be accompanied by General Ulysses Grant and his wife but they turned the invitation down. Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor at that time, who along with others originally conspired to kidnap President Lincoln. Secretary of State William Seward was attacked by Lewis Powell by knife and Vice President Andrew Johnson was also a target of assasination by the conspirators.

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Abraham Lincoln was killed by a disgruntled Confederate spy/actor named John Wilkes Booth.  Booth shot Lincoln while he was watching a play at Ford's Theatre in D.C. a few days after the South surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia.  Lincoln was taken across the street to Peterson House where he died about nine hours later. 

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emtheawesome | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Honors

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Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford's theater by an actor named John Wilkes Booth. Abraham Lincoln was shot in the back of the head, and he was carried to the house across the street, where he died the next morning. There are several videos on this, but my favorite is called "Killing Lincoln". You should watch it! 

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taangerine | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Abraham Lincoln assassinated by a Confederate spy/actor named John Wilkes Booth. This event occurred at the Ford's Theatre in D.C.

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angelina18 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Abraham Lincoln was the first president to die of assassination. He was shot in the back of his head by John Wilkes Booth, a well known actor and Confederate spy from Maryland. Lincoln's assassination was at Ford's Theatre in Washington, where he had been watching Our American Cousin on April 14, 1865, which was Good Friday. He was shot once, at point blank range, at approximately 10:15 PM.

Once he was shot, he was carried from the theatre to a boarding house across the street from the theatre. He remained in a comatose state for over 8 hours. Many doctors offered to help, and some examined the President, but there was ultimately nothing to be done, as the bullet was lodged deep in the President's brain. He died at approximately 7:22 AM the following morning, April 15, 1865.

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dfsaxon | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth on Friday April 14, 1865 as he sat in the "State Box" at the Ford's Theater in Washington, DC.  President Lincoln was taken from the theater across the street to the Petersen's Boarding House where he died the next morning on April 15, 1865.

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drshpurohit | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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John Wilkes Booth was a well-known actor and a Confederate spy from Maryland; though he never joined the Confederate army, he is said to have clearly had contacts with the Confederate secret service.[242] In 1864, Booth formulated a plan (very similar to one of Thomas N. Conrad previously authorized by the Confederacy[243]) to kidnap Lincoln in exchange for the release of Confederate prisoners. After attending an April 11 speech in which Lincoln promoted voting rights for blacks, an incensed Booth changed his plans and became determined to assassinate the president.[244] Learning that the President, First Lady, and head Union general Ulysses S. Grant would be attending Ford's Theatre, Booth formulated a plan with co-conspirators to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William H. Seward and General Grant. Without his main bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln left to attend the play Our American Cousin on April 14, 1865. Grant along with his wife chose at the last minute to travel to Philadelphia instead of attending the play.[245]

Lincoln's bodyguard, John Parker, left Ford's Theater during intermission to join Lincoln's coachman for drinks in the Star Saloon next door. The now unguarded President sat in his state box in the balcony. Seizing the opportunity, Booth crept up from behind and at about 10:13 pm, aimed at the back of Lincoln's head and fired at point-blank range, mortally wounding the President. Major Henry Rathbone momentarily grappled with Booth but Booth stabbed him and escaped.[246][247]

After being on the run for ten days, Booth was tracked down and found on a farm in Virginia, some 30 miles (48 km) south of Washington D.C. After a brief fight, Booth was killed by Union soldiers on April 26An Army surgeon, Doctor Charles Leale, assessed Lincoln's wound as mortal. The dying man was taken across the street to Petersen House. After being in a coma for nine hours, Lincoln died at 7:22 am on April 15. Presbyterian minister Phineas Densmore Gurley, then present, was asked to offer a prayer, after which Secretary of War Stanton saluted and said, "Now he belongs to the ages."[

Lincoln's flag-enfolded body was then escorted in the rain to the White House by bareheaded Union officers, while the city's church bells rang. Vice President Johnson was sworn in as President at 10:00 am the day after the assassination. Lincoln lay in state in the East Room, and then in the Capitol Rotunda from April 19– April 21, 1865, before the funeral train bore him to his final resting place in Springfield, Illinois.

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oceanlover1 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

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On the evening of April 14, 1865, while attending a special performance of the comedy, "Our American Cousin," President Abraham Lincoln was shot. Accompanying him at Ford's Theater that night were his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, a twenty-eight year-old officer named Major Henry R. Rathbone, and Rathbone's fiancee, Clara Harris. After the play was in progress, a figure with a drawn derringer pistol stepped into the presidential box, aimed, and fired. The president slumped forward.

The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, dropped the pistol and waved a dagger. Rathbone lunged at him, and though slashed in the arm, forced the killer to the railing. Booth leapt from the balcony and caught the spur of his left boot on a flag draped over the rail, and shattered a bone in his leg on landing. Though injured, he rushed out the back door, and disappeared into the night on horseback.

A doctor in the audience immediately went upstairs to the box. The bullet had entered through Lincoln's left ear and lodged behind his right eye. He was paralyzed and barely breathing. He was carried across Tenth Street, to a boarding-house opposite the theater, but the doctors' best efforts failed. Nine hours later, at 7:22 AM on April 15th, Lincoln died.

At almost the same moment Booth fired the fatal shot, his accomplice, Lewis Paine, attacked Lincoln's Secretary of State, William Henry Seward. Seward lay in bed, recovering from a carriage accident. Paine entered the mansion, claiming to have a delivery of medicine from the Secretary's doctor. Seward's son, Frederick, was brutally beaten while trying to keep Paine from his father's door. Paine slashed the Secretary's throat twice, then fought his way past Seward's son Augustus, an attending hospital corps veteran, and a State Department messenger.

Paine escaped into the night, believing his deed complete. However, a metal surgical collar saved Seward from certain death. The Secretary lived another seven years, during which he retained his seat with the Johnson administration, and purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867.

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.


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