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After a two-week manhunt, Federal troops cornered Booth in a barn in Maryland, where a Union soldier shot him in the neck. Booth died two hours later.
A Marylander by birth, Booth was an open Confederate sympathizer during the war. A supporter of slavery, Booth believed that Lincoln was determined to overthrow the Constitution and to destroy his beloved South. Booth enlisted a group of friends from Washington to aid him in his attempt.
On the evening of April 11, the president stood on the White House balcony and delivered a speech to a small group gathered on the lawn. Two days earlier, Robert E. Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, and after four long years of struggle it had become clear that the Union cause would emerge from the war victorious.
Lincoln also indicated a wish to extend the franchise to some African-Americans—at the very least, those who had fought in the Union ranks during the war—and expressed a desire that the southern states would extend the vote to literate blacks, as well. Booth stood in the audience for the speech, and this notion seems to have amplified his rage at Lincoln.
That is the last speech he will ever make. Three days later Booth made good on his promise.
Booth appears to have plotted the murders in the belief that the simultaneous assassination of four top officials would throw the North and the Republican Party into chaos long enough for the Confederacy to reassemble itself. General Grant declined the invitation to see the play; Union officer Henry Rathbone took his place.
At the same time, another conspirator, George Azterodt, made his way to the hotel where Vice President Johnson was lodging. Armed with a gun and a knife, Azterodt detoured to the hotel saloon, where he got drunk and lost his nerve. He left the bar without confronting Johnson and discarded his knife in the streets of Washington. Roger J. Abraham Lincoln Papers at the library of Congress. Michael W. New York: Random House, Lincoln Archives Digital Project. John Rhodehamel and Louise Taper, eds.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, Marjorie Spruill Wheeler and William A. The South in the History of the Nationvol.
II: From Reconstruction. New York: St. Booth's Reason for Assassination Question. For more information Roger J. The Abraham Lincoln Association Bibliography Michael W. About the Author.Wanna make friends last days in Lincoln
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Assassination of Abraham Lincoln