Who Was the Person Who Shot Abraham Lincoln?


Quick Answer

John Wilkes Booth was the person who shot Abraham Lincoln. An actor, Booth had access to all parts of Ford's Theater, where he shot President Lincoln on April 14, 1865.

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Full Answer

John Wilkes Booth's father, Junius Brutus Booth, had been a famous actor, and his brothers Edwin and Junius, Jr., were also celebrated thespians; however, John Wilkes Booth was also a rabid supporter of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Trying to boost the secessionists' cause, he orchestrated a failed attempt to kidnap President Lincoln in March 1865, but this endeavor failed when the president did not arrive at the appointed place. A month later, however, Booth saw his chance to kill the president when Lincoln attended a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater. Though Booth initially escaped, police located him in a barn, which they lit on fire. Booth crawled out, badly burned, and died on April 26, 1865.

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