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EIU Teaching with Primary Sources

Follow the Evidence: The Trial of the Lincoln Conspirators

Lincoln CSI Header

John Wilkes Booth

Evidence | Prosecution | Defense | Verdict | 
April 14, 1865 | The Conspirators

Lincoln CSIAn accomplished actor from a prominent family, John Wilkes Booth seemed to have a comfortable status and life. As the Civil War dredged on, Booth began to turn his interest from acting to politics. A strong supporter of slavery, Booth held President Lincoln responsible for the fall of the south. In 1864 Booth began recruiting and planning to kidnap the president and hold him in exchange for confederate prisoners. When every opportunity fell through, Booth turned from kidnapping to assassination. He wanted not only the president dead but the members of his cabinet also which would throw the government into chaos.

John Wilkes Booth, Alex
Gardner, photographer
to the Army of the Potomac
Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs

Lincoln CSI




The assassination of President Lincoln:
at Ford's Theatre, Washington D.C.,
April 14, 1865
Library of Congress
American Memory











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