“With malice towards none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as god gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nations wounds; to care for him who shall borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphaned child-to do all which may be achieved and cherished a just and a lasting peace among ourselves, and with all other nations”-Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address (Great Documents of America 19).
Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States and perhaps one of the most hated presidents that ever served, this hatred for president Lincoln came from his options and actions regarding the nation’s conflict at the time; the Civil War, this came after the succession of fourteen southern states subsequently dividing the nation into Union and Confederates (Notes). The war was about reuniting the nation and that was exactly what Lincoln focused on during his second term in office (Notes). Many people however did not believe Lincoln’s actions were in the best interest of the nation at all, one of these people was famous actor John Wilkes Booth.
John Wilkes Booth was born, March 10, 1846 (History.com). After the death of his father, Booth dropped out of the military school he had been attending and turned to the family profession, acting. He began his career at a theater in Baltimore, then moved to Philadelphia for a short amount of time before finally ending up at Marshall Theater in Richmond Virginia (History.com). By 1864 his contempt with the president had grown (history.com). Work had become scarce and after his unsuccessful investment in an oil company he lost most of his money and started to fall into debt, by this time though he had already began to plan to kidnap the president (History.com).
This plan was devised by Booth and co-conspirators in that they would capture the president and take him to Richmond (law2.umkc.edu). They had hoped that with the capture of the president that the Union would release captured Confederate soldiers in exchange for the safe return of the president back to the Union (law2.umkc.edu). Though his plan was ultimately foiled with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender (law2.umkc.edu). At which point it became clear to Booth that the only way to avenge the South was to murder the president (law2.umkc.edu).
Booth, along with his coconspirators began to plan the assassination of Lincoln (Ito 30) these conspirators included; George Azterodt, Mary Surratt, David Herold, Lewis Powell, Edward Spangler, Louis Paine, Samuel Arnold, Michael O’Laughlen (Ito 30). Though many of these conspirators did not actually commit murder they were still however charged with the crime of assisting Booth in plotting the murder of both Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward (Ito 30).
During Lincoln’s second inaugural speech, which Booth attended (O’Rilley 7) Booth became so angry at Lincoln’s words of peace, reconstruction and rights for blacks he...