who killed abraham lincoln

Who Killed Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, played a pivotal role in shaping American history. But who was behind his untimely death? Buckle up, history buffs, as we dive deep into the circumstances surrounding the murder of this iconic figure.

Background: Abraham Lincoln

Early Life and Career

Born on February 12, 1809, in Kentucky, Lincoln had humble beginnings. Known for his intellectual curiosity and determination, he self-educated and worked various jobs before entering politics. His career took off with his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846.

Presidency and the Civil War

Lincoln’s presidency was marked by the tumultuous period of the Civil War. His commitment to preserving the Union and abolishing slavery were key factors that defined his term and his life.

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

The Fateful Night: April 14, 1865

Five days after the Civil War ended, Lincoln attended a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. There, he was assassinated by a well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth.

The Assassin: John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth, born into an esteemed family of actors, harbored deep resentment towards Lincoln due to his Southern sympathies and racist beliefs. His hatred culminated in the fateful act of assassinating Lincoln.

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The Motive Behind the Murder

Political Beliefs and Slavery

Booth was a staunch supporter of slavery and viewed Lincoln’s anti-slavery stance as a threat to the Southern way of life. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Lincoln, further fueled Booth’s contempt.

Revenge for the Confederacy

The surrender of the Confederacy was a crushing blow to Booth. He believed that by killing Lincoln, he could reignite the Confederate cause.

Aftermath of the Assassination

Immediate Reactions

Lincoln’s assassination shocked the nation. The joy of the Union’s victory in the Civil War was replaced by a collective sense of loss and mourning.

Manhunt and Capture of the Assassins

A manhunt was quickly organized to capture Lincoln’s assassin. Booth was found hiding in a barn in Virginia and was killed when he refused to surrender.

The Legacy of Abraham Lincoln

In Memory of Lincoln

Lincoln’s death turned him into a martyr in the public’s eye. Monuments were erected, and his face now adorns the American penny and the five-dollar bill.

How Lincoln’s Death Shaped America

Lincoln’s policies and his tragic death forever altered the trajectory of the United States, particularly in the areas of racial justice and federal-state relations.


Abraham Lincoln’s assassination was a tragic event in American history. His killer, John Wilkes Booth, was driven by a misguided belief that his actions would resurrect the Confederacy. Lincoln’s legacy, however, continues to shine as a beacon of courage, justice, and unity.


  1. Who was Abraham Lincoln?
    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, best known for leading the country through the Civil War and working to abolish slavery.
  2. Who killed Abraham Lincoln?
    John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and Confederate sympathizer, assassinated Abraham Lincoln.
  3. Why did John Wilkes Booth kill Abraham Lincoln?
    Booth was a staunch supporter of slavery and felt that Lincoln’s policies threatened the Southern way of life. He believed that by killing Lincoln, he could reignite the Confederate cause.
  4. What happened to John Wilkes Booth after he killed Lincoln?
    Booth was tracked down and killed by Union soldiers 12 days after he assassinated Lincoln.
  5. How did Lincoln’s assassination impact America?
    Lincoln’s death deepened the nation’s mourning after the Civil War, turning him into a martyr. His legacy continues to influence American values and policy.
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