Death of Abraham Lincoln
Coming only a few days after America breathed a sigh of relief at the end of the Civil War, the death of Abraham Lincoln shocked the still-young nation. Today, Lincoln has become a larger-than-life figure in American history. As each new generation learns about this dedicated and charismatic leader, the same questions inevitably arise. How did Abraham Lincoln die? When did Abraham Lincoln die? Where did Abraham Lincoln die? Perhaps most importantly, why did he die? The story of how Abraham Lincoln died is shockingly simple. The death of Abraham Lincoln was made possible through a combination of petty emotions and unfortunate coincidences that came together to create the perfect conditions for the tragic event.
How Did Abraham Lincoln Die?
In 1865, no president had ever been assassinated. In spite of death threats and foiled assassination plots against Lincoln, the president and his family didn’t live much differently from any other family of similar means. On April 14, the Lincolns planned to go to see a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. The Civil War had just officially ended five days before, and the couple should have been able to relax for the first time in a while. Unfortunately, a malcontent who was also a popular actor dropped by the theater that morning and witnessed the preparations being made to host the president.
Shortly after 10 that evening, the southern sympathizer with delusions of grandeur took advantage of his celebrity status to make his way unchallenged to the president’s private box. The president’s lone bodyguard had slipped out to have a few drinks at a nearby tavern, so no one was there to stop the assassin from shooting the president in the back of the head with a single shot derringer.
Where Did Abraham Lincoln Die?
The tumult in the state box caught the attention of Dr. Charles Leale. Recognizing the gravity of the iconic leader’s condition, Leale has him moved to the nearest clean bedroom that can be found. This happened to be in the Peterson House, a boarding house across the street from the theater. Lincoln was beyond help, however, and he remained unconscious from the moment he was shot until he died.
When Did Abraham Lincoln Die?
The morning after the shooting, April 15, Lincoln was officially pronounced dead at 7:22. The nation reacted with grief and violence. Angry mobs gathered and even attacked southern sympathizers in some cases. The front page of the New York Times bears the headline “Awful Event,” and captures the mood of much of the nation as it describes the assassination as “the act of a desperate rebel” and “the dreadful tragedy.” The president’s funeral was held at the White House on April 19. The funeral procession was watched by thousands of citizens.
Why Would Anyone Want to Shoot Abraham Lincoln to Death?
John Wilkes Booth was a nationally famous actor. He was also a Confederate sympathizer and a vehement racist. In his mind, Lincoln was responsible for the problems the South was facing. Even before the end of the war, Booth hated the president and wanted to harm him. However, on April 11, two days after the war ended, Booth was among the crowd when Lincoln give a speech from the White House. When Lincoln stated that African Americans should be given the right to vote, a furious Booth decide that the president must die. He thought that Lincoln’s death would cause so much turmoil in the government that it would prevent African Americans from being granted the rights of citizenship and perhaps even allow the Confederacy to stage a comeback.
What Happened to the Man Who Was Responsible for How Abraham Lincoln Died?
Booth jumped from the Lincolns’ box and onto the stage, then exited the theater during the confusion. Although his leg was broken in the jump, Booth’s horse was outside the theater and he used it to escape. After 11 days spent in miserable conditions and in agonizing pain from his broken leg, a cavalry detachment discovered Booth cowering in a barn in Virginia. The man who shot Abraham Lincoln to death was himself killed by gunshot as the unit attempted to apprehend him.