How Did Abraham Lincoln Die

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How Did Abraham Lincoln Die

On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln and Mary went to Ford's Theater in Washington to see a played called My American Cousin. Shortly after 10:00, an actor named John Wilkes Booth, with a hatred for Negroes and a passion for the dead Confederacy, snuck up silently behind Lincoln in the Presidential Box and fired one shot into his head. Then he leapt to the stage, yelling Sic semper tyrannis - "Thus always to tyrants" - and fled into the night.

Lincoln was carried unconscious across the street to a private home and laid upon a bed. Throughout the night his friends and family kept a vigil, though doctors had already pronounced the wound fatal. Lincoln never regained consciousness. He died the following morning, April 15, at 7:22 a.m. at the age of 56. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, standing nearby, stated: "Now he belongs to the ages." The day after Lincoln's death became known as Black Easter.

Millions of Americans grieved the loss of Lincoln as if they had lost a father. Even his enemies spoke in praise of his courage and selflessness. A train carried Lincoln's body west from Washington to Springfield, Illinois. All along its route, people gathered by the thousands, silently weeping as the man who had preserved the Union passed by and into history.

 


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