Name

John Wilkes Booth

Career

Other

Occupation 1

Actor

Occupation 2

Assassin of President Lincoln

Region

NA/Mid-Atlantic region

Era

Age of Steam and Steel (1866-1920)

Born

1838

Died

1865

Source

ANB

Text

Actor and assassin of President Abraham Lincoln.

[He was] wholly convinced that the North was unjustly oppressing his beloved South...

Booth entered Ford's Theatre at about ten o'clock, moving across the rear of the balcony to the president's box. Waiting for the audience's laughter to cover the report of his derringer, Booth entered the box and fired a single .44-calibre bullet at point-blank range into the back of Lincoln's head. Booth then leaped the twelve feet from the presidential box onto the stage, breaking his left leg. He escaped from the theater to a waiting horse, and, accompanied by Herold, fled Washington

By 23 April Booth and Herold had reached the farm of Richard H. Garrett, three miles south of Port Royal, Virginia, and seventy-eight miles from Washington. Garrett hid the fugitives in one of his tobacco barns. In the early morning of 26 April a band of soldiers arrived and surrounded the outbuilding. Herold surrendered immediately; Booth defied the troops, offering to fight them one by one. Instead the troops set fire to the barn, and they saw Booth inside, using a crutch to stand erect. A bullet felled Booth, but whether he shot himself or was mortally wounded by one of the soldiers, Sergeant Boston Corbett, has never been completely resolved. Booth died at about seven o'clock, his last words being, "Tell Mother I died for my country."

Related Images

external image head6_john_wilkes_booth_1862.jpg

Date: 1862
Image Id: 419

Record ID: 357