Unsolved History ~ Plots to Kill Lincoln
Discovery Channel

Before John Wilkes Booth fired that fatal shot in the balcony of Ford's Theater, President Lincoln was the target of at least five other assassination conspiracies. DVD

President Abraham Lincoln Assassination
Ford Theater, April 14, 1865


John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth

Right or Wrong, God Judge Me: THE WRITINGS OF JOHN WILKES BOOTH
Collection of the writings of John Wilkes Booth constitutes a major new primary source that contributes to scholarship on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and nineteenth-century theater history. The nearly seventy documents--more than half published here for the first time--include love letters written during the summer of 1864
 
John Wilkes Booth at Fords theater

The Martyr of liberty...
[n. p., n. d.] (Library of Congress, Stern Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division.)
On the evening of April 14, 1865, while attending a special performance of the comedy, "Our American Cousin," President Abraham Lincoln was shot. Accompanying him at Ford's Theater that night were his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, a twenty-eight year-old officer named Major Henry R. Rathbone, and Rathbone's fiancee, Clara Harris. After the play was in progress, a figure with a drawn derringer pistol stepped into the presidential box, aimed, and fired. The president slumped forward.

The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, dropped the pistol and waved a dagger. Rathbone lunged at him, and though slashed in the arm, forced the killer to the railing. Booth leapt from the balcony and caught the spur of his left boot on a flag draped over the rail, and shattered a bone in his leg on landing. Though injured, he rushed out the back door, and disappeared into the night on horseback.

A doctor in the audience immediately went upstairs to the box. The bullet had entered through Lincoln's left ear and lodged behind his right eye. He was paralyzed and barely breathing. He was carried across Tenth Street, to a boarding-house opposite the theater, but the doctors' best efforts failed. Nine hours later, at 7:22 AM on April 15th, Lincoln died.

Abraham Lincoln Funeral procession

President Lincoln's funeral procession in New York City.
From Harper's Weekly, May 13, 1865. (Library of Congress, Stern Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division. )
At almost the same moment Booth fired the fatal shot, his accomplice, Lewis Paine, attacked Lincoln's Secretary of State, William Henry Seward. Seward lay in bed, recovering from a carriage accident. Paine entered the mansion, claiming to have a delivery of medicine from the Secretary's doctor. Seward's son, Frederick, was brutally beaten while trying to keep Paine from his father's door. Paine slashed the Secretary's throat twice, then fought his way past Seward's son Augustus, an attending hospital corps veteran, and a State Department messenger.

Paine escaped into the night, believing his deed complete. However, a metal surgical collar saved Seward from certain death. The Secretary lived another seven years, during which he retained his seat with the Johnson administration, and purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867.

There were at least four conspirators in addition to Booth involved in the mayhem. Booth was shot and captured while hiding in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, and died later the same day, April 26, 1865. Four co-conspirators, Paine, George Atzerodt, David Herold, and Mary Surratt, were hanged at the gallows of the Old Penitentiary, on the site of present-day Fort McNair, on July 7, 1865.


 


Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
The definative book on the Lincoln Assassination, and the escape of John Wilkes Booth. not only does the author give a clear and concise accounting, he takes us out of the vacuum and explains the minute details of the very knotted relationships between the conspirators, and the links of the Confederate underground to Canada and back.

Execution of the four conspirators: Mrs. Surrat [sic], Payne, Harold & Atzeroth. At Washington, D.C., July 7, 1865 . Philadelphia, J.L. Magee, 1865. litho.

The artist has taken some liberties in depicting this scene of the execution of Booth's co-conspirators at the site of the current Fort McNair, in Washington, D.C. This print shows a Catholic priest next to the gallows; much attention was given in the popular press, at that time, to the fact that Mary E. Surratt was Catholic. Mrs. Surratt is thought to have been the first woman executed by the U.S. government.

execution of Abraham Lincolns killers


Kindle Available

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
A multiple biography of the entire team of personal and political competitors that Lincoln put together to lead the country. Five of the key players, four of whom contended for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination and all of whom later worked together in Lincoln's cabinet.

Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness
The deep melancholy that pervaded Abraham Lincoln's life and its influence on his mature character. Mired in personal suffering as a young man, Lincoln forged a hard path toward mental health. His coping strategies and depressive insight ultimately helped the sixteenth president
Kindle Available

Lincoln and His World: The Early Years
Birth to Illinois Legislature

The story of this monumental American and bring a fascinating era of American history to life. The book covers Lincoln's birth through his first election to the Illinois legislature in 1834

Lincoln and the Indians
Civil War Policy and Politics

Overview of the system of Indian administration as it had developed by 1860. Dominated by the political spoils system and by corruption of the Indian agents. As a master of the art of pragmatic politics, Lincoln used the system as he needed to do to hold the Union together-resulting in tragedy for our country's Indian wards
Kindle Available

The Gettysburg Gospel:
The Lincoln Speech That Nobody Knows

Reconstructs what really happened in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863.

Forced into Glory
Abraham Lincoln's White Dream

This dissenting view of Lincoln's greatness surveys the president's policies, speeches, and private utterances and concludes that he had little real interest in abolition. Pointing to Lincoln's support for the fugitive slave laws, his friendship with slave-owning senator Henry Clay, and conversations in which he entertained the idea of deporting slaves

Lincoln and the Decision for War
The Northern Response to Secession

Democratic leader Stephen Douglas to Republican party leader William Seward. More than just a politcal history, letters and quotes from common townspeople provide a complete view of the perceptions of the time

Lincoln and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth Amendment
The history of slavery in North America, the Dred Scott decision, the evolution of Lincoln's view of presidential powers, the influence of religion on Lincoln, and the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation


The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth
The two-hour documentary is based on the highly acclaimed Michael Kauffman book, American Brutus

The Civil War in Virginia
Virginia was the arena where North and South fought many of their bloodiest battles. the program gives a full account of the events that took place describing in detail the history of the American Civil War in Virginia
Chancellorville
The Battle of Chancellorsville
Civil War Combat

Unflinching, uncompromising and graphic, the images and stories presented here show these battles for what they were, with all the brutality, horror, devastation and desperation

American Experience - Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided
Abraham Lincoln's legacy as the Great Emancipator reshaped the nation while his tragic death left Mary reclusive and forgotten.


Moon Over Tennessee
A Boy's Civil War Journal

A moving personal narrative in the form of a journal, this powerful poem tells the story of one boy's journey into war

Abe Lincoln's Hat
Step into Reading

Abraham Lincoln, started out in life as an absent-minded lawyer. How did he nudge his memory? He stuck letters, court notes, contracts, and even his checkbook in his trademark top hat.

Abe Lincoln
The Boy Who Loved Books

Children of all ages will enjoy reading this book and realizing that a love of books, as Abraham Lincoln did, can change a persons life and move him or her to become a great person

The President Is Shot!: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Grade 6-10 --Description of the violent end to Lincoln's life. Holzer provides the Civil War context of the event and then details April 14 and 15, 1865. Why Murder Lincoln?, to demonstrate that this president was not always the universally beloved icon that students see him as today.
Kindle Available
lee maxims

The Maxims Of Robert E. Lee For Young Gentlemen: Advice, Admonitions, and Anecdotes on Christian Duty and Wisdom from the Life of General Lee
All his life, Robert E. Lee relied upon his faith for strength and guidance not only in troubled times, but also as the foundation upon which he based all of his dealings with others.
Girls Life
A Girl's Life in Virginia Before the War
First published in 1895. An engrossing eyewitness account of antebellum plantation life as it really was
Kindle Available
Lizzie Stanton
You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?
Grade 3-6. Fritz applies her gift for creating engaging, thorough historical literature to a larger-than-life historical figure. Stanton was a radical among radicals, and this objective depiction of her life and times, as well as her work for women's rights, makes readers feel invested in her struggle. An appealing, full-page black-and-white drawing illustrates each chapter. For students who need a biography, this title should fly off the shelves with a minimum of booktalking. And it is so lively that it is equally suitable for leisure reading.?
Kindle Available
Meet Lincoln
Meet Abraham Lincoln

This warmly told biography of our sixteenth president is enriched by many authentic but seldom told anecdotes and complemented by bold color illustrations that capture the spirit of Lincoln and his era


Battleground 7: Bull Run
July 21, 1861 The earliest large-scale engagement of the Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run found J.E. Johnston's outnumbered Rebels fighting a desperate delaying action versus the powerful Union army of Irvin McDowell. It was in this battle that General Thomas J. Jackson earned his famous nickname "Stonewall"

Civil War Battles
Campaign Atlanta

You decide the outcome of a duel between two determined generals in the American Civil War. It's 1864 and the Union forces are ready to make a final drive into the Deep South. General William T. Sherman advances to destroy the Confederate Army of Tennessee & capture the city of Atlanta. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston planned on using Georgia's difficult terrain to inflict heavy losses

Campaign Chickamauga
Civil War Battles

A defining moment in the Civil War -- one that could have spelled victory for the South if things had been slightly different. At Chickamauga Creek near Chattanooga, TN there was a battle that earned it a new nickname: "River Of Blood." Chattanooga was a vital rail station at the time and had fallen to Union General Rosecrans
History Channel Secret Missions
History Channel Civil War
Secret Missions

There are about a half-dozen different small arms types, but the Henry is the best for rapid repeating fire and least reloading. The shotgun they give you is useless: you must aim spot-on to affect an enemy, so why not just use the rifle? Grenades are useful at times.


Source:
Library of Congress
National Park Service
University of Missouri-Kansas School of Law