A friend from across the seas mentioned reading “The Real Lincoln” which I also have but have not read because I know it will make me mad! (I am going to start it tonight though). The book prompted my friend to google John Wilkes Booth, which I did also.
I think we all know that Booth was an American stage actor who assassinated President Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, in Washington on April 14, 1865. He was a Confederate sympathizer who hated Lincoln and was outraged by the South’s defeat in the War. He strongly opposed the abolition of slavery and Lincoln’s proposal to extend voting rights to recently emancipated slaves.
Booth, and a group of co-conspirators planned to kill Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward in a bid to help the Confederacy’s cause. Booth was the only one successful in carrying out the plot. (Seward was wounded but recovered.) Lincoln died the next morning after a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. This most certainly altered the course of American history after the War, but we can only guess in what ways.
Of course we all know Booth escaped, but was caught 12 days later where he was shot by Union soldiers. Eight other were tried and convicted, and four were hanged. Rumors persist that Booth escaped his pursuers and died many years later under a pseudonym.