True Crimes # 2 - The Assassination of US 16th President Abraham Lincoln

An inspiration to other Presidents around the world

Perhaps, it is but befitting to hail Abraham Lincoln as the greatest leader America has ever elected.

If you'll compare his achievements, although short-lived as he was assassinated during his second term, with other presidents, Mr. Lincoln's track record will prove that the people of USA during the 1860s will testify of his honest-to-goodness dedication as a public servant.

Abraham Lincoln (born February 12, 1809 and died April 15, 1865) is the 16th president of the United States of America who served from 1861 until 1865.

The issue of his death was his intent desire to end slavery among the union (or every state of North America). The Civil War ended because both the Southerner and Confederate military forces and civilian volunteers came to a truce as inspired by the President's stand on the Emancipation Act.

I'm sure we are all familiar with the American Civil War being depicted in movies and recorded in world history as two great military men, Robert F. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant.

What triggered the actor-conspirator John Wilkes Booth to personally kill the president was his opposition on the freeing of the black-American slaves.

Imagine a typical American family during those times having slaves at home serving them, tilling their lands and doing other works for their convenience.

Because of Lincoln's experience about slavery, his will to eradicate such human exploitation to the country where he served as its leader.

Until then, the abolitionist administration became the hated government of the pro-slave businessmen and private families.

Book on the Great Abe usually became a subject on thesis promoting good governance and accountability.

Although, he fought hard against slavery, this world saw an inspiration in him that his legacy still lives even at this modern times.

The assassination of President Lincoln was dubbed as the "darkest hour in history" of America. Other signs read "We mourn our loss" and "He lives in the hearts of his people."

Note: Didn't I tell you that I even wrote an article on Life 101 series about his humility?

Lithograph of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. From left to right: Henry Rathbone, Clara Harris, Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth. (Photo: Currier and Ives/Date circa 1865 -Wikimedia Commons and US Library of Congress)
Lithograph of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. From left to right: Henry Rathbone, Clara Harris, Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth. (Photo: Currier and Ives/Date circa 1865 -Wikimedia Commons and US Library of Congress)
Broadside advertising reward for capture of Lincoln assassination conspirators, illustrated with photographic prints of John H. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and David E. Herold. (1865 -Source:Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Div.)
Broadside advertising reward for capture of Lincoln assassination conspirators, illustrated with photographic prints of John H. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and David E. Herold. (1865 -Source:Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Div.)
Police Blotter Listing the Assassination of President Lincoln (April 14, 1865) (Location:National Archives And Records Administration)
Police Blotter Listing the Assassination of President Lincoln (April 14, 1865) (Location:National Archives And Records Administration)

Assassination at the theater

Abraham Lincoln was the first US president to be assassination. Amid his landslide elections for his second term, he didn't know that ending the slavery and giving voting rights to them in America would also means the end of his life.

His gunner will always be known in history as the most-hated and most-wanted man in the USA during those times.

John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838 – April 26, 1865) was a famous American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865.

Since, the theater was the prime entertainment hub during the late 18th century, even ordinary people can have personal talk with political dignitaries, including the highest leader of the land.

After Lincoln's landslide re-election in early November 1864 on a platform advocating passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to abolish slavery altogether, Booth devoted increasing energy and money to his kidnap plot.

He assembled a loose-knit band of Southern sympathizers, including David Herold, George Atzerodt, Lewis Powell (also known as Lewis Payne or Paine), and John Surratt, a rebel agent. They began to meet routinely at the boarding house of Surratt's mother, Mrs. Mary Surratt.

Let us take note of the assassination plot that was devised by the actor J.B. Wilkes (John Wilkes Booth's stage name, to avoid being associated with his actor-brother Edwin and father Brutus, Jr.)

On the morning of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Booth went to Ford's Theatre to get his mail; while there he was told by John Ford's brother that President and Mrs. Lincoln accompanied by Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant would be attending the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre that evening.


He immediately set about making plans for the assassination, which included making arrangements with livery stable owner James W. Pumphrey for a getaway horse, and an escape route. Booth informed Powell, Herold, and Atzerodt of his intention to kill Lincoln.


He assigned Powell to assassinate Secretary of State William H. Seward and Atzerodt to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson. Herold would assist in their escape into Virginia.


If I were to live at that time, I can easily conclude that it is too easy to beget one's life.

There's no telephone wire tapping scandals, no CCTV security cameras or even hidden audio devises that can overhear what the audience are whispering before or after the gala presentation of every act or stage play.

Or before the president or political bigwigs will enter such public entertainment center or the theater, there will be search dogs that will sniff for bombs that will pose a security threat to the leader.

Yet, the punishments during those times will range from hanging as seen by public and being incarcerated. Unfortunately, the capital punishment of death through chemical injection is not yet implemented.

Political bickering often resulted into the sacrifices of human lives, including the brightest mind that cared for the slaves and the rest of American citizen.

And that was Abraham Lincoln.

Note: Such event's highlights were based from Wikipedia article on the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth's authobiography.

Abraham Lincoln (Photo Credit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/abrahamlincoln)
Abraham Lincoln (Photo Credit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/abrahamlincoln)

Lincoln warned the South in his Inaugural Address:

"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you.... You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it."

Book you can read about the life and assassination of Abraham Lincoln

  1. Killing Lincoln :The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard --- Fox News host Bill O'Reilly declares Abraham Lincoln as America's best leader. With this book, he opined that : If Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address today, it would be far too long for an evening news sound bite. But it would make it onto C-SPAN, says Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, "and it would probably still get on Internet sites — the hate-Lincoln and love-Lincoln sites."
  2. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery By Eric Foner --- Mr. Eric Foner is a history professor at Columbia University and the author of several books about the history of American race relations. In this book, Mr. Foner traces Lincoln's thoughts on slavery during his three-hour speech known as the Peoria Speech. We all know about his Gettysburg Address, but this speech according to Mr. Foner is full of contemplation on what will happen to America if slavery will be abolished.
  3. Seward:Lincoln's Indispensable Man by Walter Stahr --- Mr. Walter Stahr began writing his first book, John Jay, while working as a lawyer in Hong Kong. This book is about Lincoln's political rival, William Seward, who became his closest ally. As Cabinet Secretary, Seward and Lincoln will always show up before a meeting sharing a joke and other notable light moments. Seward was also included by the assassin-actor John Wilkes Booth on his list as part of decapitating the Union government.

Good Honest Abe on his memorial (Photo Credit: http://patriotspokenword.com/)
Good Honest Abe on his memorial (Photo Credit: http://patriotspokenword.com/)

Why people kill people?

Again, this hub proves that HATRED kill people, including the innocent ones.

Hatred against races, political rivals, gangs and even warring tribes and families will always result on bloodshed or mass murder.

If we will always give way to this kind of negative thought or way of thinking, the atrocities of wars will leave multitudes of sufferings in this world.

More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

I always enjoy reading true crimes and I learned a few new things reading the hub. Great research.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@carol7777: Thank you so much for appreciating my efforts. It's still a crude interpretation on what really transpired two centuries ago.

But the freshness of man's memory will never erase the fact that President Lincoln changed America's political history


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

A very sad day in our history! I'll read anything about Lincoln! Great job!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@billybuc:Thanks for the positive post. He's also my inspiration when it comes to good governance. His life is full of humility and it encouraged me to do a hub about him, even though his life here on Earth played sad notes to all his admirers around the world. Truly, Abraham Lincoln is an icon.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working