Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln

John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, shot Lincoln in the head during a performance of “Our American Cousin.” Lincoln died the following day, making him the first U.S. president to be assassinated. Booth was later tracked down and killed by Union soldiers.

Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln Facts For Kids

  • Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865.
  • His killer was an actor named John Wilkes Booth.
  • The murder occurred in Ford’s Theatre, Washington D.C.
  • Lincoln was watching the play “Our American Cousin”.
  • Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head.
  • The weapon used was a .44 caliber Deringer pistol.
  • Lincoln died the next day, on April 15, 1865.
  • Booth was caught and killed on April 26, 1865.
  • Lincoln’s death was the first presidential assassination.
  • The event marked a tragic end to the U.S. Civil War.
Key Stats
Date April 14, 1865
Location Ford’s Theatre, Washington D.C.
Assassin John Wilkes Booth
Method Gunshot wound to the head
Time between shooting and death Approximately 9 hours
Death April 15, 1865
Conspirators Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, etc.
Motive Confederate sympathizers
Capture and Fate of Booth Captured on April 26, 1865; killed resisting arrest
Impact First assassination of a U.S. President
Historical Significance Altered the course of Reconstruction and national healing

The American Civil War

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 is closely linked to the American Civil War. Lincoln led the Union to victory and was killed just days after the war’s end. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was a Southern sympathizer. Lincoln’s assassination, therefore, marked a violent end to the Civil War and created further complications for the healing and reunification of the nation.

The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, as President, led the nation through the Civil War and aimed to end slavery. His term was cut short by his assassination in 1865. This tragic event, carried out by John Wilkes Booth, not only ended Lincoln’s life but also his vision for a united country. Lincoln’s assassination had a profound effect on the American presidency.”

The Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 freed enslaved people in the South. This decision stirred resentment, notably in John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln in 1865. The assassination is therefore tied to the struggle over slavery. Despite Lincoln’s death, the emancipation movement he championed continued.

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. He disagreed with Lincoln’s views on slavery and unity after the Civil War. Booth shot Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, drastically impacting Lincoln’s legacy. Booth is now known as one of America’s most infamous assassins.

Ford’s Theatre

Ford’s Theatre, located in Washington D.C., is a historic site associated with one of the most tragic events in American history, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. On the evening of April 14, 1865, Lincoln and his party attended a performance of “Our American Cousin” at the theatre. Unbeknownst to them, John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, had plotted to murder the president. He slipped into Lincoln’s private box and shot him in the back of the head.

The theater, instead of being remembered as a popular entertainment venue of the era, became synonymous with the untimely death of one of the nation’s most revered leaders. Today, Ford’s Theatre serves not just as a working theater, but also as a monument and museum, reminding visitors of the grim event that unfolded within its walls.

The Reconstruction Era

The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 sent shockwaves through a nation already reeling from the Civil War, and it profoundly impacted the subsequent period known as the Reconstruction Era. Lincoln, who had steered the Union to victory, had envisioned a lenient and swift reconstruction process to restore Southern states to the Union and rebuild the nation’s economy.

His untimely death, however, led to a shift in power to his Vice President, Andrew Johnson, whose approach to Reconstruction was more punitive towards the South and less protective of newly freed African Americans. Thus, Lincoln’s assassination significantly altered the course of Reconstruction, and its effects continue to reverberate in discussions on racial justice and equality in the United States.

The Confederate States of America

John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, assassinated President Lincoln in 1865 due to disagreements with Lincoln’s policies towards the South. Lincoln’s assassination didn’t echo all Confederates’ views, as many knew Lincoln sought a compassionate approach to Reconstruction. Therefore, his death greatly influenced the Confederate States’ fate during Reconstruction.

The Gettysburg Address

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, articulating his vision of a united nation under principles of equality and liberty. His words set the course for an imminent end of slavery and a hoped-for national reconciliation. However, this vision was tragically cut short when he was assassinated in 1865, just as the Civil War was ending.

His untimely death left the nation without its guiding light during a crucial period of reconstruction. Despite this tragic end, Lincoln’s ideals, as beautifully expressed in the Gettysburg Address, continue to shape American ideology and are considered a defining legacy of his presidency.

The 13th Amendment (Abolition of Slavery)

President Lincoln’s role in passing the 13th Amendment was pivotal, as it abolished slavery. However, just months after its ratification, Lincoln was assassinated, deeply affecting the newly freed African Americans. Despite his early death, his efforts in ending slavery form a key part of his legacy.

The Conspirators of Lincoln’s assassination

The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln was not the act of a single man, but the result of a larger conspiracy masterminded by John Wilkes Booth and several others. Booth, an actor, and Confederate sympathizer, was the one who fatally shot Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre. However, Booth was part of a wider group who planned to destabilize the Union government by assassinating not just Lincoln, but also Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward.

The broader plan failed, with only Lincoln falling victim to the plot. Following the assassination, authorities tracked down the conspirators. Four of them, including Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the U.S. government, were hanged, while others were imprisoned. The group’s plot not only resulted in Lincoln’s tragic death but also left a lasting stain on American history.


Abraham Lincoln, elected President in 1860, was a vocal opponent of slavery, sparking opposition from pro-slavery Southern states. This opposition led to secession, with seven Southern states declaring themselves the Confederate States of America. Lincoln, however, refused to recognize this secession, leading to the onset of the Civil War.

By 1863, thanks to Lincoln’s leadership and strategic decisions, the Union forces were on the verge of victory. This progress, while celebrated in the North, sparked resentment in the South. In 1865, in the aftermath of the Confederacy’s defeat, John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer and actor, assassinated Lincoln. Booth’s action marked a tragic end to Lincoln’s presidency, which had been defined by his steadfast opposition to slavery and his crucial role in leading the Union to victory in the Civil War.

The Assassin

John Wilkes Booth was a famous stage actor who belonged to a well-known family of actors. He was a rabid supporter of slavery and believed that it should not be abolished. He even attended the execution of famous abolitionist John Brown, who had raided a federal armory at Harpers Ferry.

After Confederate forces were defeated on various fronts, Booth felt that if Lincoln, his vice president Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward were killed, the tide of war could be changed in favor of the Confederacy. He and his accomplices decided to assassinate the president, vice president, and secretary of state. Booth assigned himself the primary task of targeting Lincoln.

The Assassination

On the night of April 14th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln attended a stage play at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. as part of a sequence of events. Seated together in a special box, along with other attendees, they enjoyed the performance.

However, tragedy struck when John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, entered the box and assassinated President Lincoln. Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head, inflicting a fatal wound. Despite the severity of the gunshot, Lincoln did not die immediately. He was swiftly taken across the street to Peterson House, a nearby residence, for medical assistance.

Sadly, Lincoln’s injuries proved fatal, and he passed away on April 15th, 1865, in Peterson House. It is worth noting that while Booth’s accomplice, Lewis Powell, attempted to assassinate Secretary of State Seward but failed, another accomplice, George Atzerodt, decided against his plan to attack Vice President Johnson at the last moment

The Fate of the Assassins

Within a few days of the assassination, all the conspirators were arrested except Booth who was shot dead after he resisted arrest. In all, eight conspirators were tried for the assassination and four of them were sentenced to death by hanging. Three conspirators were handed life imprisonment and one was booked for six years.

Lewis Powell

The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln had connections to Lewis Powell, one of the co-conspirators in the plot. Powell, also known as Lewis Payne, was assigned the task of assassinating Secretary of State William H. Seward on the same night that Lincoln was killed. However, while Booth successfully carried out his part of the plan, Powell’s attempt on Seward’s life was not as successful.

Powell attacked Seward, who was recovering from an injury, but Seward’s neck brace protected him from fatal harm. Despite the failed attempt, Powell’s involvement in the assassination plot underscores the coordinated nature of the conspiracy. Following the assassination, Powell was captured, tried, and ultimately executed for his role in the tragic event that claimed the life of President Lincoln.

George Atzerodt

The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln involved the participation of George Atzerodt, another co-conspirator in the plot. Atzerodt was assigned the task of assassinating Vice President Andrew Johnson on the same night that Lincoln was targeted. However, Atzerodt did not carry out the plan and instead spent the evening drinking at a nearby hotel.

Despite his lack of action, Atzerodt’s involvement in the conspiracy underscores the breadth of the plot and the multiple targets intended for assassination. After the assassination, Atzerodt was apprehended, tried, and later executed for his role in the conspiracy. Although he did not directly contribute to Lincoln’s death, his participation in the broader plan further highlights the organized nature of the assassination plot.


Following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the United States was plunged into a period of profound grief, mourning the loss of a leader who had guided the nation through its tumultuous Civil War. As the country grappled with this tragedy, the political landscape was destabilized, with Vice President Andrew Johnson ascending to the presidency.

Johnson’s leadership faced numerous obstacles, as he struggled to balance Lincoln’s legacy with his own policy ideas during the Reconstruction Era, expediting the integration of the southern states while contending with the complex ramifications of emancipation and civil rights for former slaves. Lincoln’s assassination, therefore, left an indelible mark on American history, shaping the nation’s path towards recovery and progress in the aftermath of its darkest hour.