“The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln,” by Currier & Ives, 1865
President Abraham Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865, around 10 o’clock at night while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC.
The assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth, entered the Lincolns’ box and shot the president in the back of the head before jumping over the railing and down onto the stage. A fanatic for the Confederate cause, Booth exclaimed “Sic semper tyrannis” (Thus always to tyrants), the Virginia state motto, before escaping the theater.
The comatose President Lincoln was taken to a bedroom of a boarding house across the street, where he was attended by various doctors and visited by his wife and his son, Robert, as well as by various friends and political acquaintances. Lincoln, who never regained consciousness, died nine hours after being shot, at 7:22 in the morning.
About the same time as Lincoln’s assassination, one of Booth’s co-conspirators made an attempt on Secretary of State William Seward‘s life. Though gravely wounded, Seward would survive. Vice President Andrew Johnson was also an intended target, but his would-be assassin lost his nerve and did not attack. The final target was allegedly Ulysses S. Grant, though no successful attempt was made on his life.
Learn more about the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
President Abraham Lincoln is shot by an assassin; Secretary Seward also attacked Sat, Apr 15, 1865 – Page 1 · The New York Times (New York, New York, New York, United States of America) · Newspapers.comWashington DC newspaper gives known facts about Lincoln assassination and attack on Seward Sat, Apr 15, 1865 – Page 1 · Evening Star (Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America) · Newspapers.comTimeline of Lincoln's condition throughout the night following his assassination Sat, Apr 29, 1865 – Page 3 · The Junction City Weekly Union (Junction City, Geary, Kansas) · Newspapers.comTimeline of President Lincoln's assassination and funeral based on facts known at the time Sat, Apr 22, 1865 – 2 · The Cecil Whig (Elkton, Cecil, Maryland, United States of America) · Newspapers.comImage of John Wilkes Booth and map of where Lincoln assassination happened Mon, Apr 17, 1865 – Page 1 · The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America) · Newspapers.comReactions across the United States and Canada to President Abraham Lincoln's assassination Sun, Apr 16, 1865 – Page 1 · The Daily Milwaukee News (Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) · Newspapers.comInternational reaction (Italy, Russia, Sweden) to news of Abraham Lincoln's assassination Fri, Jun 16, 1865 – Page 1 · The Liberator (Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comConfederate paper speculates Lincoln's death will cause overthrow of Northern abolitionists Tue, Apr 25, 1865 – Page 2 · The Daily Phoenix (Columbia, Richland, South Carolina, United States of America) · Newspapers.comDescription of funeral services for President Abraham Lincoln Thu, Apr 20, 1865 – Page 1 · Cleveland Daily Leader (Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio) · Newspapers.comDescription of the funeral train that carried Lincoln's body to Springfield for burial Tue, May 2, 1865 – 4 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States of America) · Newspapers.comNewspaper account of the burial of President Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, on May 4, 1865 Thu, May 11, 1865 – Page 2 · Lancaster Gazette (Lancaster, Fairfield, Ohio, United States of America) · Newspapers.comDeath of John Wilkes Booth and capture of David Herold at farm of Richard Garrett Thu, Apr 27, 1865 – Page 2 · Evening Star (Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America) · Newspapers.comPresident Andrew Johnson offers reward for capture of people allegedly connected to Lincoln's death Fri, May 26, 1865 – 12 · The Nottinghamshire Guardian (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England) · Newspapers.comGeorge Sanders and Beverly Tucker refute accusations that they were connected to Lincoln's death Fri, May 26, 1865 – 12 · The Nottinghamshire Guardian (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England) · Newspapers.comPro-Confederate newspaper disputes accusations that Confederate leaders were behind Lincoln's death Thu, Apr 27, 1865 – Page 2 · The Daily Phoenix (Columbia, Richland, South Carolina, United States of America) · Newspapers.comEditorial argues that assassins involved in Lincoln's death should be tried in a military court Fri, Jun 2, 1865 – 2 · The Border Sentinel (Mound City, Kansas, United States of America) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from trial of conspirators George Atzerodt, Lewis Payne (Powell), and Mary Surratt Thu, Jun 22, 1865 – 5 · New York Daily Herald (New York, New York, United States of America) · Newspapers.comAccount of the execution of 4 people found guilty of involvement in the Lincoln assassination Fri, Jul 7, 1865 – Page 2 · National Republican (Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America) · Newspapers.comEditorial following Lincoln's death advocating a continuance of his conciliatory methods of peace Mon, Apr 17, 1865 – Page 2 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, Kings, New York) · Newspapers.comEditorial following Lincoln's death advocating harsher methods of dealing with the South Fri, Apr 28, 1865 – Page 2 · The New Berne Times (New Bern, Craven, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comEditorial pondering how Lincoln's death will affect the post-war South Thu, Apr 20, 1865 – Page 2 · The Wilmington Herald (Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina) · Newspapers.com