John Wilkes Booth

and the Assassination of Lincoln

Who was John Wilkes Booth?

John Wilkes Booth was part of the United States most distinguished acting families of the 19th century. He was a supporter of the Southern cause of Slavery so hated Lincoln for not wanting slavery. He was a part of the Richmond, Virginia militia.

What was John Wilkes Booth's Plan to kill Lincoln?

John Wilkes Booth had planned several different attempts to assassinate Lincoln and he was unsuccessful. He had a group of about 18-21 people helping him with his plans.

Lincoln's Assassination

Since John Wilkes Booth was an actor he had free reign to the theater. He found out that Lincoln would be seeing the comedy Our American Cousin along with his wife Mary Todd. Lincoln was unguarded in the box he was sitting in. Booth knew the exact moment when people would be laughing. Booth stood waiting behind the box with a .44 caliber

derringer in his left hand and a dagger in the right. At that moment he jumped inside of the box and shot Lincoln in the back of the head. Booth then jumped out of the box and broke a bone in the bottom of his left leg. It is said that he shouted "Sic temper tyrannis" which was the Virginia Motto meaning thus always to tyrants. Booth managed to escape the theater on horseback.

What Happened to John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln?

Lincoln: After he was shot he was taken to a house across the street from the theater, and put in a bed that was much to small for him. He was surrounded by important people. Abraham Lincoln was shot April 14, 1865 and died the next morning on April 15, 1865 at 7:22 am from the bullet in his brain. Doctors said that Lincoln did not bleed to death but the bullet in his brain caused swelling which caused his death.

Booth: John Wilkes Booth was found hiding in a barn near Port Royal, Virginia. He surrendered to troops but was eventually shot and killed. His body was givin to medical examiners and was identified.

Reaction of the public: Lincoln's assassination and effect on civil war

Lincoln's assassination occurred after the civil war ended so there was no effects on the war because of it, the public's reaction to Lincoln's assassination was very bad in people in the North. These were some of the things Northerners did to people supporting the south after the assassination.


  • tar and feathered
  • beaten to death
  • ridden on the rails (people were put on stakes and carried around town as an embarrassment)
  • arrested for insulting
  • shot by union troops


The public's reaction to the assassination was very bad.

Effects of the Assassination Today

After Lincoln got assassinated the Radical Republicans (Congress) took over to make a new order to give African Americans full citizenship and the right to vote. Today there is even still tension between the North and the South. Even between black and white people. There are some schools in the south today that still have integrated proms. Schools will not support or host a prom because of lingering tension between black and white people. After the assassination of president Lincoln, the country had to find a way that would make the north and the south come together as a whole or even become respected to one another. Abraham Lincoln was trying to do that. Now that he was assassinated they had to figure out another way to do this. Another example of lingering tensions between the north and south today is if people wear or support something of the north or south such as a flag, they are looked at bad because there is still some lingering hate between the north and south today.

In Conclusion...

In conclusion the assassination of Lincoln was one of the worst things that happened to a president in American History. The assassination did not affect the civil war but did effect the people and the country at that time. We know that there is still to this day lingering tension between the north and the south. This event was something that cannot be forgotten in our nation's history.

-Molly Schwamb