John Wilkes Booth

Why did John Wilkes booth assassinate Abraham Lincoln?


John Wilkes Booth was born on May 10, 1838 in Bel Air, Maryland as the second youngest of ten children. His father, was an alcoholic and a well known actor. He was raised on a farm that was worked by the family's slaves and attended Milton Boarding School and later St. Timothy's Hall.


At the age of 17 he started his acting debut. he stared in the production of Shakespeare's Richard 3 and was invited on a tour across the country with Shakespearean acting company. In 1862 he made the lead role but the next year he was diagnosed with a respiratory illness that made him temporarily leave the stage.


In 1850 he joined the No-Nothing Party.In 1559 he joined the Virginia company in capturing John Brown.During the Civil War he served as a secret agent for the Confederacy.He also failed the attempt to kidnap Lincoln and exchange him for captured Confederate soldiers.


Booth was a supporter of the south and believed civil war was necessary to maintain southern freedom. He also considered abolitionist to be traitors which meant he thought Abraham Lincoln was a traitor as well. He didn't like how he was running the country and was angered about the income tax, the military draft, the suspension of Habeas Corpus, and the abolishing of slavery.

Lincoln's Assassination

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 at Ford Theater in Washington D.C. Booth had snuck into Lincoln's booth with a small derringer gun and a small blade and shot him in the back of the head. Then he jumped off the balcony onto the stage, breaking his leg in the process, and yelled ''Sic semper tyranis! The south is avenged!'' He managed to a get-away horse before getting caught by the guards.

The Death of John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth died two weeks after the assassination on April 2,1865 in Port Royal, Virginia. After crossing the Potomac River, he and his conspirators hid at Port G Garriet's Farm. Investigators soon caught up with them and got a clear shot of booth but when he still refused to surrender they set fire to the barn. He was badly burned and died soon after.
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