Abe Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s assassination was a malevolent ending to an already bitter
and spiteful event in American history, the Civil War. John Wilkes Booth and his
group of co-conspirators developed plans in the late summer of 1864 to only
kidnap the President and take him the Confederate capital of Richmond and hold
him in return for Confederate prisoners of war. Booth’s group of conspirators:

Samuel Arnold, Michael O’Laughlen, John Surratt, Lewis Paine, George Atzerodt,

David Herold, and Mary Surratt (John’s wife), made plans on March 17, 1865, to
capture Lincoln, who was scheduled to see a play at a hospital in the outskirts
of Washington. However, Lincoln changed plans and remained in the capital
("Booth" 98) On April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered to General

Grant at Appomattox. Two days later Lincoln delivered a speech in front of the

White House to a group that had gathered outside. Booth, being present in this
group, heard Lincoln suggest that certain voting rights should be granted to the
blacks. Infuriated, being a racist, Booth’s plans now turned from the
kidnapping of Lincoln to his assassination (Lewis, Neely 115) Three days before
his assassination Lincoln told of a dream he had to his wife and one of his
friends, Ward Hill Lamon. According to Lamon, the President said: "About
ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been waiting up for some important
dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a
slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like
stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were
weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was
broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from
room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of
distress met me as I passed along. I saw light in all the rooms; every object
was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their
hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all
this? Determined to find the cause of the state of things so mysterious and
shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I
met a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse
wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting
as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse,
whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. ‘Who is dead in the White

House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers, ‘The President,’ was his
answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin.’ Then came a loud burst of grief from
the crows, which woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although
it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever
since."((Online) http://members.aol.com...) Was it possible that President

Lincoln knew of his assassination before it actually happened? On the morning of

Friday, April 14, Booth stopped by Ford’s Theatre and found out that President

Lincoln and General Grant were planning on attending the evening performance of

Our American Cousin. Booth then held one final meeting with the conspirators and
said he would kill Lincoln at the theater, he had found out that Grant had left
town. Atzerodt was to kill the Vice-President Andrew Johnson at Kirkwood House
where he resided. Powell and Herold were assigned to kill the Secretary of State

William Seward. Both attacks were scheduled to take place simultaneously at
approximately 10:15 p.m. that night. Booth hoped that the resulting chaos and
weakness in the government could lead to a comeback for the South (:Lewis, Neely

187) At about 7:00 p.m. William H. Crook, Lincoln’s bodyguard, was relieved
three hours late by John Parker. Parker was told to be on hand at Ford’s

Theatre when the Presidential party got there. Crook said, "Good night, Mr.

Lincoln." The President replied, "Good-bye, Crook." According to

Crook this was a first. Lincoln ALWAYS previously said, "Good night,

Crook."(Reck 148) Around 8:00 p.m. the Lincolns left the White House in a
stage coach and proceeded to pick up Clara Harris and Major Rathbone. Parker led
the way into the theater, with the play already in progress. When Lincoln
entered the acting stopped and they played "Hail to the Chief." The
audience rose to their feet and applauded the President. Once he was seated in
the state