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Abraham Lincoln Assassination Essay

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The book The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln is a series of books called “ The Library of Political Assassinations.” This book was written by Deborah A. Marinelli. The book discusses many aspects of the lives of Lincoln and his wife. It also discusses the main concepts of his presidency. Finally, the book talks about details of the civil war. Throughout this book, the reader learns a sufficient amount of information about Lincoln, his death, and the details of the Civil War.

Many people know Lincoln as one of the greatest presidents, but what they don’t know is that he was going through a great amount of stress. Lincoln’s wife’s name was Mary Todd. They had 4 children together, Robert, William, Tad and Edward. In the first term of Lincoln’s presidency Willie died from typhoid fever and Eddie died from thyroid cancer. Mary and Abe were greatly strained from this setback. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln had much in common. They both had lost their mother at a young age, suffered from depression, and had an intense interest in politics. In the text it states “Mary’s actions were unpredictable and were sometimes criticized as peculiar (11).” She did things such as holding seances in the White House in attempt to connect with her dead sons. Many people never really trusted Mary because her family lived in the south, during the Civil War, as she lived in the north.

Lincoln was a very smart and talented man. He was self taught and he had become a successful lawyer with only one year of formal education. Though Lincoln considered this a disadvantage, his love for studying and reading and his deep thought made up for the missed opportunity to attend normal classes. Lincoln shaped his ideas by some of the greatest writers such as Shakespeare and Socrates. Even though Lincoln had a great sense of humor, he suffered from depression throughout his life. He especially got these black moods when, as president, he received news of young soldiers who had died. The text states “Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, is remembered as a martyr and hero who freed the slaves and ended the American Civil War (5).” Many men and women had idealized Lincoln. Lincoln spoke plainly and honestly, yet he didn't have the social polish like the other men who served in the white house. Officials often felt superior to Lincoln because of this.

The Civil War was caused by the secession of the South. It began on April 12, 1861 when the Confederates fired at Fort Sumter. This set brother against brother and cousin against cousin. The Northern states were mostly industrial, and the Southern states were mostly agricultural. The Lincoln family suffered greatly throughout the war because Mary’s brothers were fighting for the Confederacy while Lincoln was the commander in chief for the Union forces. This put Lincoln in the position of having to support military campaigns and strategies that could potentially kill Mary's family. On January first, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Stated in the text “...the American Civil War is primarily remembered as when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 (7).” The Proclamation made all slaves, in the states of rebellion, free. It had freed more than 3 million slaves. After taking the lives of 600,000 men, the Confederates finally surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia on April 9, 1865.

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Lincoln had just started his second term in the office on April 14, 1865. He was extremely exhausted and his personal life offered very little comfort. On Good Friday Mary's mood was lighter than it had been in a long time. Abraham was unusually cheerfully as well.

On April 14,1865, the Lincolns and Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancée, we're attending Ford's Theatre to watch the stage Our American Cousin. The attendees had arrived a little late and we're escorted to the president's box, which is used to honor the theater's important guests. Stated in the text “ An American President had never been assassinated before…there was no reason for him to fear foul play (13).” Lincoln's bodyguard, thinking they were safely in the box, wondered downstairs to get a better view of the actors. During the third act, which had the play's funniest lines, the audience's attention was hooked on the stage. In this time, John Wilkes Booth approached the unguarded box and shot Lincoln in the head.

Before Boothe had come to the theater, he had a drink at a nearby tavern. His heart was surely racing as he quietly cracked open the door to the president's box. Boothe had previously planned every move. When he got inside, he bolted the door shut. Then proceeded to aim at the president's head and shoot. A wave of laughter had hidden the sound of the gun as Major Rathbone had understood what just happened and lunged toward the assassin. In the text it states “Boothe had slavishly slashed Rathbone’s arm. He dramatically leaped from the box waving his knife and shouting “Sic semper tyrannis (15).” Which is Latin for “thus always with tyrants.” Some members of the cast and audience also testified they heard him shout “Freedom! The South shall be free!” He had managed to escape from Ford's Theatre, but the force of the twelve-foot drop had broken his right leg. The audience had become a mob scene once they had realized the president was shot. Everyone was hurrying to get to the exit.

When the first doctor reached the president, Dr. Charles A. Leale began to perform CPR to try and keep Abe alive. The doctor remembered she put two fingers of his right hand to press down the president's tongue, others positioned his long arms to help his chest expand. The actress, Laura Keene, made her way to the balcony and gently held Lincoln's head. “Dr. Leale announced to the others, “His wound is mortal. It is impossible for him to recover (17).” The president's heartbeat had revived, but her and two other doctors (Charles Taft and Albert King), realized there was no chance that Lincoln would live. They're family doctor had agreed that there nothing they could do except keep him comfortable. The sixteenth president of the United States had passed away the next morning on April 15 at 7:22 AM.

Throughout this book the readers are taught the important aspects in the life of Lincoln. It taught the readers about Lincoln's personal life. It also teaches them about the assassination of president Lincoln and all the details leading up to it. Lastly, it talks about the Civil War and the timeline within it. This nonfiction book was very informative and interested me greatly, which is hard for its genre. It explained everything efficiently and gave many points and facts. I paid attention and learned something I wouldn't of in class.

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Abraham Lincoln Assassination Essay. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from
“Abraham Lincoln Assassination Essay.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
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Abraham Lincoln Assassination Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2024 Feb 24]. Available from:
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