The Weapon That Killed A Hero: The Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln

1656 words - 7 pages

On April 9, 1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia officially marking the end of the civil war. The end of the war did not sit well with many southern sympathizers. There was one guest that went to both Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address and his last speech on reconstruction, that guest was watching Lincoln’s actions very closely and had, in fact been following him for a long time. Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford’s Theater on
John Wilkes Booth was the ninth of ten children to his father Junius Booth. The Booth family had a history in acting and many were famous celebrities. John Wilkes Booth made his debut at the age of seventeen. His first act was performing in a production of Richard III .The Booth family owned a farm in Bel Air, Maryland and owned multiple slaves. The fact that the Booth family owned slaves shows that John Booth had grown up with the same mentality as a southern slave owner, effectively causing him to become a southern sympathizer. Considering the fact that Booth was a southern sympathizer it makes sense that he had hated Lincoln. His political views were essentially the opposite of Lincoln, whereas Booth supported the institution of slavery and Lincoln staunchly opposed it.
Unlike John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln did not come from a wealthy family. In fact, Lincoln was born on a poor farm in Kentucky where he was forced to do manual labor for his father. Lincoln however, did not want to spend his life doing manual labor for a very small amount of income. He wanted better for himself, and essentially taught himself how to read. Once Lincoln had learned how to read it enabled him to become someone of high standing, and although his life had many ups and downs including at least two severe instances of depression it eventually lead him to the White House. Politically Lincoln had inherited his father’s hatred for slavery, and that was one of the main points that lead him to presidency as the Republican nominee in 1860.
John Wilkes Booth had hated Lincoln from the day of the election in 1860. Because of his great hatred for Lincoln, Booth had originally planned to kidnap the president and hold him for ransom. Booth assembled a team of co-conspirators that each had a specific skill that was going to make the kidnapping easier. Unfortunately for Lincoln, Booth had changed his mind and decided to assassinate him. Lincoln had given a speech three days prior to his assassination in which he essentially stated his plans to eventually fight for the African American right to vote. Booth was attended the Presidents final speech and at its conclusion he turned and stated that it was the last speech the president would give.
President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, were set to attend a production of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. at 8:30 on April 14, 1865. Booth had hoped to hide the sound of the...

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