John Wilkes Booth and The Civil War

By Javier Rios & Thomas Lupinacci

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Early Years

John Wilkes Booth was born on May 10th, 1838 near Bel Air, Maryland. Booth was the second youngest of ten children. His dad, Junius Brutus Booth was an actor, but he was also an alcoholic. Booth lived on his father's farm which was run by family slaves.

When he was young, Booth attended the Milton Boarding School for Boys. He later moved on to St. Timothy's Hall for a short while. Through the years, Booth was often regarded as incredibly hansom. Many imagined him following his father's footsteps onto a stage. Booth later became a famous actor.


John Wilkes Booth became a Confederate spy. In March of 1865, John Wilkes Booth and a group of other confederates attempted to kidnap President Lincoln of the Union. However, their plan failed due to Lincoln not showing up.

Booth later went on to greater measures. On April 14, 1865, soon after the Union had won the Civil War, Booth had entered Ford's Theater and climbed up to the Presidential Booth where Lincoln was watching a play with his wife and a few others. Booth approached him from behind, pulled out a pistol, and pulled the trigger. After shooting Lincoln in the head, Booth jumped off of the balcony and yelled, "Sic semper tyrannis" (thus always tyrants). Booth broke his leg during the fall, but he was able to hobble onto a horse and escape. He was soon trapped in a barn.

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Death and Memorials

When Booth refused to surrender himself, his pursuers caught the barn on fire to draw him out. When he tried to escape through the back Thomas P. Corbett shot him in the neck. Booth died three hours later on April 26, 1865. Booths last words were "Tell my mother I did it for our country." Booth was later buried in 1869 at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.

Joseph Pinkney Parker was a police officer, teacher, baptist, and Confederate veteran who lived in Alabama. He was best known for hating Abraham Lincoln. Pinkney commissioned a monument memorializing John Wilkes Booth and his assassination of Abraham Lincoln. John wanted to make a 3 foot tall bore shaft, and it was done.

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A Handful of Booth Facts

His dad was a heavy drinker.

He became a famous actor just like his father.

His last name matches the place where he shot Lincoln.

A $100,000 reward for his capture was available.

Before he died he said, "Tell mother I did it for my country".