John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Assassination

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)

STANDARD 2: The course and character of the Civil War and its effects on the American people. 

Standard 2A: The student understands how the resources of the Union and Confederacy affected the course of the war. 

5-12: Identify the turning points of the war and evaluate how political, military, and diplomatic leadership affected the outcome of the conflict. [Assess the importance of the individual in history] 

Standard 2B: The student understands the social experience of the war on the battlefield and homefront. 

5-12: Compare the human and material costs of the war in the North and South and assess the degree to which the war reunited the nation. [Examine historical perspectives]

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION: Private box in Ford's Theater, Washington, where President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, on the night of April 14, 1865. Stereo., 1861 - 1865
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1861-1865
    SOURCE: Series: Stereographs of the Civil War, 1861 - 1865
    REPOSITORY: National Archives at College Park - Archives II (College Park, MD)

  2. DESCRIPTION: The Assassination of President Lincoln: at Ford's Theatre, Washington, D.C., April 14th, 1865
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1865 (New York: Currier & Ives)
    SOURCE: By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress

  3. DESCRIPTION: James S. Knox to Knox  (Eyewitness account of Lincoln's assassination)
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: April 15, 1865
    SOURCE: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Series 3. General Correspondence. 1837-1897.
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress

  4. DESCRIPTION: Police Blotter Listing the Assassination of President Lincoln
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: April 14, 1864
    SOURCE: Series: Blotters, 09/1862 - 05/31/1933
    REPOSITORY: National Archives Building - Archives I (Washington, DC)

  5. DESCRIPTION: $30,000 reward. Description of John Wilkes Booth! who assassinated the President on the evening of April 14th, 1865 ... Description of the person who attempted to assassinate Hon. W. H. Seward, Secretary of state ... The Common council of Washington, D. C., have offered a reward of $20,000 for the arrest and conviction of these assassins, in addition to which I will pay $10,000. L. C. Baker Colonel and agent War Department. [Washington, D. C. 1865.].
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Washington, 1865.
    SOURCE: An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress

  6. DESCRIPTION: War department, Washington. April 20, 1865. $100,000 reward! The murder of our late beloved president, Abraham Lincoln, is still at large.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: New York, 1865
    NOTES: Broadside advertising reward for capture of Lincoln assassination conspirators, illustrated with photographic prints of John H. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and David E. Herold.; Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Assassination--Washington (D.C.); Booth, John Wilkes, 1838-1865.; Surratt, John H. (John Harrison), 1844-1916.; Herold, David E., 1844-1865.; Stern Collection Broadside Port. v. 5, no. 24
    SOURCE: An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress

  7. DESCRIPTION: $100,000 reward! The murderer of our late beloved President, Abraham Lincoln, is still at large.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1865
    NOTES: Broadside advertising reward for capture of Lincoln assassination conspirators, illustrated with photographic prints of John H. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, and David E. Herold.
    SOURCE: By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress

  8. DESCRIPTION: John Wilkes Booth
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-23
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  9. DESCRIPTION:Thomas A. Jones
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1865
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-14
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  10. DESCRIPTION: George Atzerodt, hanged July 7, 1865
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1865
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-15
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  11. DESCRIPTION: John H. Surratt
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-27
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  12. DESCRIPTION: Mary Surratt's house. The first stop of John Wilkes Booth and Herold after fleeing Ford's Theater
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-21
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  13. DESCRIPTION: View of Port Tobacco: Road that John Wilkes Booth took to Dr. Samuel Mudd's house
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-4
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  14. DESCRIPTION: Dr. Samuel Mudd
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-13
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  15. DESCRIPTION: Rich Hill, home of Colonel Cox. Booth and Herold hid in a pine thicket nearby
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-1
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  16. DESCRIPTION: Map of escape route of Booth, from Ford's theater to Garrett's farm
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-5
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  17. DESCRIPTION: Huckleberry, home of Thomas A. Jones, the man who took care of Booth and Herold from Monday until Friday and refused $100.00 to tell where they were secreted
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-2
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  18. DESCRIPTION: Sgt. Boston Corbett -- who shot Booth
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-24
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  19. DESCRIPTION: Execution of Mrs. Surratt and Lincoln assassination conspirators
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: n. d.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-3
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  20. DESCRIPTION: Old capitol prison where Lincoln conspirators were imprisoned. Charles County, MD. 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: ca. 1890.
    SOURCE: Olroyd-National Park Service Lincoln Assassination Photograph Collection, MSA SC 1897-1-9
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives

  21. DESCRIPTION: The life, crime, and capture of John Wilkes Booth, with a full sketch of the conspiracy of which he was the leader, and the pursuit, trial and execution of his accomplices. 
    AUTHOR: George Alfred Townsend.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: New York, Dick & Fitzgerald [1865]
    SOURCE: The Nineteenth Century in Print: Books
    REPOSITORY: University of Michigan Library

  22. DESCRIPTION: The Murder of the President
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: April 29, 1865
    SOURCE: HARPER'S WEEKLY. A JOURNAL OF CIVILIZATION. / Volume IX, Issue 435
    REPOSITORY: University of Michigan

  23. DESCRIPTION: Trial of the Conspirators
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: June 3, 1865
    SOURCE: HARPER'S WEEKLY. A JOURNAL OF CIVILIZATION. / Volume IX, Issue 440
    REPOSITORY: University of Michigan

  24. DESCRIPTION: David C. Harold
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: June 10, 1865
    SOURCE: HARPER'S WEEKLY. A JOURNAL OF CIVILIZATION. / Volume IX, Issue 441
    REPOSITORY: University of Michigan

  25. DESCRIPTION: Pursuit and Death of John Wilkes Booth. 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: [The Century; a popular quarterly. / Volume 39, Issue 3, Jan 1890]
    SOURCE: The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals
    REPOSITORY: Cornell University

  26. DESCRIPTION: Pursuit and Death of John Wilkes Booth
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: [The Century; a popular quarterly. / Volume 39, Issue 6, Apr 1890]
    SOURCE: The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals
    REPOSITORY: Cornell University

  27. DESCRIPTION: General Orders No. 164, War Department, Adjutant General's Office
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: November 24, 1865
    NOTES: "All persons claiming reward for the apprehension of John Wilkes Booth ... are notified to file their claims.... The rewards offered for the arrest of Jacob Thompson, Beverly Tucker, George N. Sanders, William C. Cleary and John H. Surratt are revoked."
    SOURCE: United States. War Dept., United States. Record and Pension Office., United States. War Records Office., et al. The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. Series 1 - Volume 49 (Part 2). (Washington, DC. Government Printing Office, 1894): 1116.

  28. DESCRIPTION: General Court-Martial Orders, No. 356. War Department, Adjutant General's Office [Charges, findings, and sentences of the co-conspirators]
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: July 5, 1865
    NOTES: "Before a military commission ... were arraigned and tried -- David E. Herold, G. A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, Mary E. Surratt, Michael O'Laughlin, Edward Spangler, Samuel Arnold and Samuel A. Mudd.
    SOURCE: United States. War Dept., United States. Record and Pension Office., United States. War Records Office., et al. The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. Series 2 - Volume 8. (Washington, DC. Government Printing Office, 1894): 696-700.

Additional Media Resources

A History of John Wilkes Booth. From the National Park Service, Ford's Theatre

Abraham Lincoln Research Site. Website compiled by a former American history teacher.

Documents and Decisions in the Case for Dr. Mudd

Reading With and About Abraham Lincoln by Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist. The Janet and Roger Levin Lecture, Boys' Latin School, Baltimore, Maryland, February 15, 2002

Artifacts of Assassination. From the National Archives. Illustration of the items in Lincoln's pockets on the night of his assassination.

Additional Instructional Resources

What Events Led to Lincoln's Assassination?

Secondary Resources

"The Assassination of President Lincoln, 1865." The American Historical Review, Vol. 29, No. 3. (Apr., 1924), pp. 514-517.

"Proposed Legislation Could Clear Dr. Mudd" Civil War Times Illustrated (December 1997): 92.

Baker, Jean H. Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1987

Bassin, Alan and O'Leary, J. Patrick. "'...and his name was Mudd'" American Surgeon (September 1997): 842.

Bauer, Charles J. So I Killed Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth. n. pl.: n.pub., 1983.

Clampitt, John W. "The Trial of Mrs. Surratt." The North American Review (September 1880): 223-241.

Clarke, James W. "American Assassins: An Alterative Typology" British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 11, No. 1. (Jan., 1981), pp. 81-104.

Donald, David Herbert. Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Flattmann, Geoffrey J. and J. Patrick O'Leary. "Lincoln's Last Hours" American Surgeon (June 1997): 561.

Ford, John T. "Behind the Curtain of Conspiracy." The North American Review (April 1889):484-494.

Frank, Seymour J. "The Conspiracy to Implicate the Confederate Leaders in Lincoln's Assassination" The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 40, No. 4. (Mar., 1954), pp. 629-656.

Knibb, Joyce G. Elusive Booths of Burtonsville: An Investigations of John Wilkes Booth's Alleged Wife and Daughter. Bowie, Heritage Books, 1991

Kunhardt, Dorothy Meserve. Twenty Days: A Narrative in Text and Pictures of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.

McArthur, Benjamin. "'They're out to Get Us': Another Look at Our Paranoid Tradition." The History Teacher, Vol. 29, No. 1. (Nov., 1995), pp. 37-50.

Mudd, Nettie. Life of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd. La Plata: Dick Wildes Printing, 1991.

Smith, Gene. "The Booth Obsession." American Heritage (September 1992): 104.

Spiegel, Allen D. "Dr. John Frederick May and the Identification of John Wilkes Booth's Body" Journal of Community Health (October 1998): 383.

Weichmann, Louis J. True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and of the Conspiracy of 1865. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1975.

Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

Ford's Theatre National Historic Site
900 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2000
Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House Museum
14940 Hoffman Road,
Waldorf, MD 20601-4359
Surratt House Museum
PO Box 427
9118 Brandywine Road
Clinton, MD 20735

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Nancy Bramucci.

 

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