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John Wilkes Booth was a passionate supporter of the Confederacy as well as slavery in the South, although he never joined the Confederate Army himself. He was also an accomplished actor who enjoyed high levels of success and popularity in the South. Booth (along with co-conspirators John Surratt, Michael O'Laughlin, and Samuel Arnold) was originally involved in a plot to kidnap Lincoln and deliver him to officials in the South. However, the kidnapping plot failed on two separate occasions.

Enraged by the surrender of the Confederate Army, John Wilkes Booth desired to eliminate Abraham Lincoln, whom he viewed as a tyrant. Booth also felt that Lincoln's Reconstruction policies, which included extending the vote to African Americans, would destroy the South. Motivated by political zeal and a desire for revenge, Booth successfully shot Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865; Lincoln died at 7:22 am the next morning.

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