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April 15, 1865: “Now he belongs to the ages”

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On Friday, April 14th, President and Mrs. Lincoln, accompanied by Clara Harris and Maj. Henry R. Rathbone, entered Ford’s Theatre for the performance of “Our American Cousin” featuring Laura Keene.   It was a popular comedy of its time.   By all accounts, the President was in good spirits and ready for a night of relaxation.

Otto Eisenschiml wrote that the shots were fired at around 10:15 pm.  (In the Shadow of Lincoln’s Death (New York: Funk, 1940),

Shortly after, the wounded President was moved across the street to the house of William Petersen at 453 10th St. NW.    He was placed in a small room at the rear of hall on the first floor.

Mrs. Lincoln and the surgeons stayed with the President all night.    VP  Johnson dropped in for a visit around 2 am.

Dr. Charles S. Taft observed that the President stopped breathing “at 7:21 and 55 seconds in the morning of April 15th, and 7:22 and 10 seconds his pulse ceased to beat.”  (Eisenschiml)

After some silence, Secretary .Stanton said:   “Now he belongs to the ages“.

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Written by scantojr

April 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Posted in US History

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