National Treasure: Book of Secrets - A SHOCKING DEATH

At the time he was shot at Ford’s Theatre, President Abraham Lincoln had several items in his pockets. This image, from the Library of Congress, depicts those items.


As Lincoln slumped forward, Major Rathbone struggled with Booth. Using his knife, the actor slashed Rathbone’s arm. As the assassin jumped from the presidential box, the spur of his boot caught a flag. When he fell to the floor, Booth apparently fractured his leg.

Laura Keene, it is said, rushed to Lincoln's side. As she helped to care for the stricken President, his blood allegedly stained the cuff of her dress.

Undaunted, Booth fled the theater through the back door,  escaping Washington on horseback  and crossing the “Eastern Branch” of the river. The police blotter reveals his name as the suspect.

The President, meanwhile, was carried across the street  to Petersen’s Boarding House.  Mortally wounded,  he was diagonally positioned on a bed too small for his 6'4" frame.

Shocked, his closest advisors  gathered round him. Mary Lincoln was hysterical and, for the most part, not with the President  as he  lay dying.

At 7:22 a.m. the next morning, President Abraham Lincoln died of his wound. He never regained consciousness. In his pockets were reading glasses and other personal items. Ironically, his assassin had napped on Lincoln’s death bed one month earlier.

America, while celebrating the end of a disastrous Civil War, now faced a different "national calamity." Despite the country's overwhelming grief at the loss of her President—a mere six weeks into his second term—a killer was still at-large.

A killer, that is, who kept a diary.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Jul 10, 2019

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"A SHOCKING DEATH" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2007. Feb 17, 2020.
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