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John Wilkes Booth Plan By: Caden Minehart

  • Booth's Anger Starts the Assassination Plans

    Throughout the Prologue of "Chasing Lincoln's Killer", the author describes the North (Union) celebrating their victory over the South (Confederacy) by children waving tiny American flags in the streets and singing patriotic songs with parades. John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and South supporter, walks the streets depressed and awakes depressed the next morning in the National Hotel. Booth, since April 3rd, when the Confederate Capital Richmond fell to the Union, had been a blur of days.
  • Booth Gets a Message from Ford's Theater.

    Booth woke and stood from his bed depressed. He put his fine clothes on and walked down to Pennsylvania Avenue to pick up his mail. He read the letter and learned that he was invited to Ford's Theater, as well as Abraham Lincoln and his family, to see "Our American Cousin". Booth knew this was the perfect opportunity to assassinate President Lincoln, or as he saw Lincoln as the tyrant. However, General Ulysses S. Grant was coming with them. Booth had to create a plan in 8 hours.
  • The Weapon

    Booth then went to the local gun and ammunition shop to pick his weapon of choice for the assassination of Lincoln, or the tyrant in his terms. Booth chose a Deringer .44 to be his weapon of choice. Pistols usually misfire and have multiple rounds. However, his deringer was inaccurate and only had one shot to make it work. If he missed, he would have no time to reload, so he brought a knife too unless he missed. Booth chose the Deringer mostly because he thought it was heroic to kill in one shot
  • The Conspirators

    Booth, in 1864 and 1865 organized a group of conspirators to help with his plans. The group contained Lewis Powell, David Herold, John Harrison Surratt, George Atzerodt, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O'Laughlen. The group had many failures before this reform, such as failing a kidnapping on Lincoln on March 17th 1865. Booth told his henchmen his plan of throwing the Union into chaos of killing its top leaders, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and Secretary Seward.
  • Entering Ford Theater

    Once Booth had shared his plan with his conspirators to start the war again, Booth went to Ford's Theater and went through the back entrance when Lincoln arrived in his carriage. Once inside, he asked Edman Spangler to hold his horse for him. Booth then traveled underneath the stage and made it to the President's box. Abraham Lincoln was in a rocking chair next to the entrance, where Booth was standing. He also saw Lincoln's wife and Major Rathbone.
  • Booth's Kill

    Booth then waited for Henry Hawk's comic line to cause the audience to explode with laughter, quieting the gunshot. 5 seconds later the audience exploded with laughter and Booth pulled his trigger, drilling a hole through Lincoln's brain. Lincoln fell limp in his rocking chair and Major Rathbone stood straight up attacking Booth. Booth slashed her with his knife saying "freedom!" while running away onto the stage for his last "performance". He said Sic Semper Tyrannis!"
  • Booth's Kill (Continued)

    Sic Semper Tyrannis is latin for "Thus always be to tyrants", which is the Virginia state motto. Booth also screamed "The South is Avenged" when he left the stage. Only one person went after him, who was Joseph Stewart. Booth's plan was perfectly executed.
  • The Plan

    Booth was amazed at how easy this plan was. Lincoln was coming to him, he didn't have to hunt him down! Booth knew the exact spot Lincoln will step out of his carriage and the exact movement Lincoln will take to get to his box. Booth have never acted in "Our American Cousin", but he knew Ford's Theater and the play by heart. Both then drove to the Kirkwood House, the home of the Vice President Andrew Johnson. He sent him a letter saying "Don't wish to disturb you. Are you home?"
  • Boarding House Task

    Next, Booth drove to a boarding house on H street, a few blocks from Ford's Theater. Booth visited Mary Surratt, which was the mother of John Harrison Surratt, a Confederate secret agent and friend of Booth's. Mary Surratt was planning to drive to her Tavern in Surrattsville, Maryland, so Booth told her to bring a package wrapped in newspaper to her tavern. Booth after the successful assassination will ride to her Tavern to pick up the package filled with guns and ammunition.