El presidente Lincoln sueña con su asesinato

El presidente Lincoln sueña con su asesinato


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Según el recuerdo de uno de sus amigos, Ward Hill Lamon, el presidente Abraham Lincoln sueña esta noche de 1865 con “los sollozos apagados de los dolientes” y un cadáver tendido en un catafalco en el Salón Este de la Casa Blanca. En el sueño, Lincoln le preguntó a un soldado que estaba de guardia "¿Quién está muerto en la Casa Blanca?" a lo que el soldado respondió, “el presidente. Fue asesinado por un asesino ". Lincoln se despertó en ese momento. El 11 de abril, le dijo a Lamon que el sueño lo había "molestado extrañamente" desde entonces. Diez días después de tener el sueño, Lincoln fue asesinado a tiros por un asesino mientras asistía al teatro.

LEER MÁS: ¿El fantasma de Lincoln acecha a la Casa Blanca?


El presidente Lincoln sueña con su asesinato - HISTORIA

El sueño actual del presidente Lincoln sobre el asesinato

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El 14 de abril de 1865, Abraham Lincoln, el decimosexto presidente de los Estados Unidos, fue asesinado por John Wilkes Booth. El asesinato fue supuestamente parte del plan de Booth & rsquos para revivir la Confederación y planeaba matar a tres de los funcionarios más importantes de la nación & rsquos. Booth no actuó solo, sin embargo, tiene al menos tres conspiradores y planearon convertir la noche en un baño de sangre. Si bien Booth tuvo éxito, sus co-conspiradores no lo tuvieron. David Herold y Lewis Powell no mataron a William H. Seward, el secretario de Estado, y George Atzerodt no mató a Andrew Johnson, el vicepresidente.

Según el amigo de Lincoln y el guardaespaldas ocasional, Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln predijo su asesinato. Lamon afirmó que Lincoln compartió detalles de un sueño que tuvo unos días antes de su muerte. En él, el presidente entró en el Salón Este de la Casa Blanca y los rsquos, donde

encontró un cuerpo protegido por soldados y rodeado por una multitud de luto. Lincoln preguntó a uno de los soldados que habían muerto. "El presidente" fue la respuesta. "Fue asesinado por un asesino". Hay dudas sobre la veracidad del relato de Lamon & rsquos y también una sugerencia de que Lincoln dijo que el cadáver no era él.

Parece cada vez más probable que Lamon lo inventara todo. No publicó su relato durante 20 años y fue una reconstrucción basada en notas que había tomado en ese momento. También es extraño que ni él, ni la viuda de Lincoln & rsquos, mencionaran el sueño tras la muerte del presidente & rsquos. Sin embargo, existen evidencias que apuntan a que el expresidente estaba sumamente interesado en descifrar el significado de los sueños y lo que decían sobre el futuro. En 1863, Lincoln le escribió a su esposa y le dijo que debería guardar la pistola de su hijo porque él "tuvo un sueño feo sobre él".

Según miembros de su gabinete, Lincoln habló sobre un sueño que tuvo la noche anterior al asesinato. En él, soñaba con navegar rápidamente sobre un cuerpo de agua pero no sabía dónde estaba. Lincoln reveló que tuvo el mismo sueño varias veces antes, siempre antes de eventos importantes durante la Guerra Civil. Al final, no pudo aprovechar el poder predictivo de los sueños y fue asesinado la noche del 14 de abril. Booth se convirtió en el hombre más buscado de Estados Unidos y fue asesinado 12 días después.


Contenido

Plan abandonado para secuestrar a Lincoln

John Wilkes Booth, nacido en Maryland en una familia de destacados actores de teatro, en el momento del asesinato se había convertido en un actor famoso y una celebridad nacional por derecho propio. También fue un franco simpatizante confederado a finales de 1860 fue iniciado en los Caballeros del Círculo Dorado pro-Confederados en Baltimore. [5]: 67

En marzo de 1864, Ulysses S. Grant, comandante de los ejércitos de la Unión, suspendió el intercambio de prisioneros de guerra con el Ejército Confederado [6] para aumentar la presión sobre el Sur hambriento de mano de obra. Booth concibió un plan para secuestrar a Lincoln con el fin de chantajear al Norte para que reanudara los intercambios de prisioneros, [7]: 130–4 y reclutó a Samuel Arnold, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Michael O'Laughlen, Lewis Powell (también conocido como "Lewis Paine ") y John Surratt para ayudarlo. La madre de Surratt, Mary Surratt, dejó su taberna en Surrattsville, Maryland, y se mudó a una casa en Washington, DC, donde Booth se convirtió en un visitante frecuente.

Si bien Booth y Lincoln no se conocían personalmente, Lincoln había visto a Booth en Ford's en 1863. [8]: 419 [9] [10] Después del asesinato, el actor Frank Mordaunt escribió que Lincoln, quien aparentemente no albergaba sospechas sobre Booth, admiraba el actor y lo había invitado repetidamente (sin éxito) a visitar la Casa Blanca. [11]: 325–6 Booth asistió a la segunda toma de posesión de Lincoln el 4 de marzo de 1865, y luego escribió en su diario: "¡Qué oportunidad tan excelente tuve, si lo deseaba, de matar al presidente el día de la toma de posesión!" [7]: 174,437n41

El 17 de marzo, Booth y los otros conspiradores planearon secuestrar a Lincoln cuando regresaba de una obra de teatro en el Hospital Militar de Campbell. Pero Lincoln no fue a la obra, sino que asistió a una ceremonia en el Hotel Nacional [7]: 185 Booth vivía en el Hotel Nacional en ese momento y, si no hubiera ido al hospital por el intento de secuestro abortado, podría haber sido capaz de atacar a Lincoln en el hotel. [7]: 185–6,439n17 [12]: 25

Mientras tanto, la Confederación estaba colapsando. El 3 de abril, Richmond, Virginia, la capital confederada, cayó ante el Ejército de la Unión. El 9 de abril, el General en Jefe de los Ejércitos de los Estados Confederados Robert E. Lee y su Ejército del Norte de Virginia se rindieron al Comandante General del Ejército de los Estados Unidos Ulysses S. Grant y su Ejército del Potomac después de la Batalla de Appomattox. Palacio de Justicia. El presidente confederado Jefferson Davis y otros funcionarios confederados habían huido. Sin embargo, Booth siguió creyendo en la causa confederada y buscó una forma de salvarla. [13]: 728

Motivo

Hay varias teorías sobre las motivaciones de Booth. En una carta a su madre, escribió sobre su deseo de vengar al Sur. [14] Doris Kearns Goodwin ha respaldado la idea de que otro factor fue la rivalidad de Booth con su conocido hermano mayor, el actor Edwin Booth, quien era un unionista leal. [15] David S. Reynolds cree que Booth admiraba mucho al abolicionista John Brown. [16] La hermana de Booth, Asia, Booth Clarke lo citó diciendo: "¡John Brown era un hombre inspirado, el personaje más grandioso del siglo!" [16] [17] El 11 de abril, Booth asistió al último discurso de Lincoln, en el que Lincoln promovió el derecho al voto para los negros. [18] Booth dijo: "Eso significa ciudadanía negra ... Ese es el último discurso que dará". [19]

Enfurecido, Booth instó a Lewis Powell a que disparara a Lincoln en el acto. Se desconoce si Booth hizo esta solicitud porque no estaba armado o porque consideraba que Powell era mejor tirador que él (Powell, a diferencia de Booth, había servido en el Ejército Confederado y, por lo tanto, tenía experiencia militar). En cualquier caso, Powell se negó por miedo a la multitud, y Booth no pudo o no quiso intentar personalmente matar al presidente. Sin embargo, Booth le dijo a David Herold: "Por Dios, lo haré pasar". [20] [8]: 91

Las premoniciones de Lincoln

Según Ward Hill Lamon, tres días antes de su muerte, Lincoln relató un sueño en el que deambulaba por la Casa Blanca en busca de la fuente de sonidos tristes:

Seguí adelante hasta que llegué al East Room, al que entré. Allí me encontré con una espantosa sorpresa. Ante mí había un catafalco, sobre el que descansaba un cadáver envuelto en vestimentas funerarias. A su alrededor había soldados apostados que actuaban como guardias y había una multitud de personas, mirando con tristeza el cadáver, cuyo rostro estaba cubierto, otros llorando lastimeramente. "¿Quién está muerto en la Casa Blanca?" Le pregunté a uno de los soldados, "El presidente", fue su respuesta "fue asesinado por un asesino". [21]

Sin embargo, Lincoln continuó diciéndole a Lamon que "en este sueño no fui yo, sino otro tipo, el que fue asesinado. Parece que este asesino fantasmal probó suerte con otra persona". [22] [23] El investigador paranormal Joe Nickell escribe que los sueños de asesinato no serían inesperados en primer lugar, considerando el complot de Baltimore y un intento de asesinato adicional en el que se hizo un agujero en el sombrero de Lincoln. [22]

Durante meses, Lincoln se había visto pálido y demacrado, pero la mañana del asesinato le dijo a la gente lo feliz que estaba. La Primera Dama Mary Todd Lincoln sintió que tal conversación podría traer mala suerte. [24]: 346 Lincoln le dijo a su gabinete que había soñado con estar en una "embarcación singular e indescriptible que se movía con gran rapidez hacia una orilla oscura e indefinida", y que había tenido el mismo sueño antes "casi todos los grandes y acontecimiento importante de la guerra "como las victorias en Antietam, Murfreesboro, Gettysburg y Vicksburg. [25]

El 14 de abril, la mañana de Booth comenzó a la medianoche. Le escribió a su madre que todo estaba bien pero que tenía "prisa". En su diario, escribió que "Nuestra causa casi se pierde, algo decisivo y hay que hacer lo grande ". [13]: 728 [24]: 346

Mientras visitaba el Ford's Theatre alrededor del mediodía para recoger su correo, Booth se enteró de que Lincoln y Grant iban a ver Nuestro primo americano allí esa noche. Esto le brindó una oportunidad especialmente buena para atacar a Lincoln ya que, después de haber actuado allí varias veces, conocía el diseño del teatro y estaba familiarizado con su personal. [12]: 12 [8]: 108–9 Fue a la pensión de Mary Surratt en Washington, DC y le pidió que le entregara un paquete en su taberna en Surrattsville, Maryland. También le pidió que le dijera a su inquilino Louis J. Weichmann que preparara las armas y municiones que Booth había almacenado previamente en la taberna. [12]: 19

Los conspiradores se reunieron por última vez a las 8:45 p.m. Booth asignó a Lewis Powell para que matara al secretario de Estado William H. Seward en su casa, a George Atzerodt para que matara al vicepresidente Andrew Johnson en el hotel Kirkwood y a David E. Herold para que guiara a Powell (que no estaba familiarizado con Washington) a la casa de Seward y luego a una cita con Booth en Maryland.

John Wilkes Booth fue el único miembro conocido de la conspiración. Es probable que asumiera razonablemente (pero en última instancia, incorrectamente) que la entrada del palco presidencial estaría vigilada y que sería el único conspirador con una posibilidad plausible de acceder al presidente, o al menos de acceder al palco. sin ser registrado primero en busca de armas. Booth planeaba dispararle a Lincoln a quemarropa con su Deringer de un solo disparo y luego apuñalar a Grant en el Ford's Theatre. Todos iban a atacar simultáneamente poco después de las diez. [8]: 112 Atzerodt trató de retirarse del complot, que hasta ese momento sólo había implicado secuestro, no asesinato, pero Booth lo presionó para que continuara. [7]: 212

Lincoln llega al teatro

A pesar de lo que Booth había escuchado ese mismo día, Grant y su esposa, Julia Grant, se habían negado a acompañar a los Lincoln, ya que Mary Lincoln y Julia Grant no se llevaban bien. [26]: 45 [b] Otros en sucesión también rechazaron la invitación del Lincoln, hasta que finalmente el mayor Henry Rathbone y su prometida Clara Harris (hija del senador de Nueva York Ira Harris) aceptaron. [12]: 32 En un momento, Mary Lincoln desarrolló un dolor de cabeza y estaba inclinada a quedarse en casa, pero Lincoln le dijo que debía asistir porque los periódicos habían anunciado que lo haría. [28] El lacayo de Lincoln, William H. Crook, le aconsejó que no fuera, pero Lincoln dijo que se lo había prometido a su esposa. [29] Lincoln le dijo al presidente de la Cámara de Representantes, Schuyler Colfax, "Supongo que es hora de irme, aunque prefiero quedarme" antes de ayudar a Mary a subir al carruaje.

El partido presidencial llegó tarde y se acomodó en su palco (dos palcos contiguos sin una partición divisoria). La obra fue interrumpida y la orquesta tocó "Hail to the Chief" mientras la casa llena de unos 1.700 aplausos se alzó. [30] Lincoln se sentó en una mecedora que había sido seleccionada para él entre los muebles personales de la familia Ford. [31] [32]

El elenco modificó una línea de la obra en honor a Lincoln: cuando la heroína pidió un asiento protegido del draft, la respuesta, escrita como "Bueno, no eres el único que quiere escapar del draft", fue entregado en su lugar como "¡El borrador ya ha sido detenido por orden del presidente!" [33] Un miembro de la audiencia observó que Mary Lincoln a menudo llamaba la atención de su esposo sobre aspectos de la acción en el escenario y "parecía disfrutar mucho al presenciar su disfrute". [34]

En un momento, Mary Lincoln le susurró a Lincoln, que le sostenía la mano: "¿Qué pensará la señorita Harris de que me aferre a ti?". Lincoln respondió: "Ella no pensará nada al respecto". [12]: 39 En los años siguientes, estas palabras se consideraron tradicionalmente las últimas de Lincoln, aunque N.W. Miner, un amigo de la familia, afirmó en 1882 que Mary Lincoln le dijo que las últimas palabras de Lincoln expresaban su deseo de visitar Jerusalén. [35]

Booth dispara a Lincoln

Con Crook fuera de servicio y Ward Hill Lamon fuera, se asignó al policía John Frederick Parker para vigilar el palco del presidente. [36] En el intermedio fue a una taberna cercana junto con el ayuda de cámara de Lincoln, Charles Forbes, y el cochero Francis Burke. También era la misma taberna que Booth esperaba tomando varios tragos para preparar su tiempo. No está claro si regresó al teatro, pero ciertamente no estaba en su puesto cuando Booth entró al palco. [37] En cualquier caso, no hay certeza de que se le haya negado la entrada a una celebridad como Booth. Booth había preparado una abrazadera para bloquear la puerta después de entrar en la caja, lo que indica que esperaba un guardia. Después de pasar un tiempo en el salón, Booth entró al Ford's Theatre por última vez alrededor de las 10:10 pm, esta vez, a través de la entrada principal del teatro. Pasó por el círculo de vestimentas y se dirigió a la puerta que conducía al Palco Presidencial después de mostrarle a Charles Forbes su tarjeta de visita. El cirujano de la Armada George Brainerd Todd vio llegar a Booth: [38]

Alrededor de las 10:25 pm, un hombre entró y caminó lentamente por el lado donde estaba la caja "Pres" y escuché a un hombre decir, "Ahí está Booth" y giré la cabeza para mirarlo. Seguía caminando muy lento y estaba cerca de la puerta de la caja cuando se detuvo, sacó una tarjeta de su bolsillo, escribió algo en ella y se la dio al acomodador que la llevó a la caja. En un minuto se abrió la puerta y entró.

Una vez dentro del pasillo, Booth colocó una barricada en la puerta colocando un palo entre ella y la pared. Desde aquí, una segunda puerta conducía al palco de Lincoln. Hay evidencia de que, más temprano en el día, Booth había perforado una mirilla en esta segunda puerta, aunque esto no es seguro. [39] [40]: 173

Booth se sabía la obra de memoria y esperó a cronometrar su disparo alrededor de las 10:15 p. M., Con la risa de una de las divertidas líneas de la obra, pronunciada por el actor Harry Hawk: "Bueno, supongo que sé lo suficiente para darte la vuelta. ¡Fuera, vieja, estás disculpándote viejo-trampa! ". Lincoln se estaba riendo de esta línea [41]: 96 cuando Booth abrió la puerta, dio un paso adelante y le disparó a Lincoln por detrás con una derringer. [2]

La bala entró en el cráneo de Lincoln detrás de su oreja izquierda, atravesó su cerebro y se detuvo cerca de la parte frontal del cráneo después de fracturar ambas placas orbitales. [c] [44] Lincoln se desplomó en su silla y luego cayó hacia atrás. [46] [47] Rathbone se volvió para ver a Booth parado en humo de pistola a menos de cuatro pies detrás de Lincoln Booth gritó una palabra que Rathbone pensó que sonaba como "¡Libertad!" [48]

La cabina se escapa

Rathbone saltó de su asiento y luchó con Booth, quien dejó caer la pistola y sacó un cuchillo, con el que apuñaló a Rathbone en el antebrazo izquierdo. Rathbone volvió a agarrar a Booth mientras Booth se preparaba para saltar de la caja al escenario, una caída de doce pies [49] La espuela de montar de Booth se enredó en la bandera del Tesoro que decoraba la caja, y aterrizó torpemente sobre su pie izquierdo. Cuando comenzó a cruzar el escenario, muchos en la audiencia pensaron que él era parte de la obra.

Booth sostuvo su cuchillo ensangrentado sobre su cabeza y gritó algo a la audiencia. Si bien tradicionalmente se sostiene que Booth gritó el lema del estado de Virginia, ¡Sic Semper tyrannis! ("Así siempre a los tiranos") ya sea desde el palco o desde el escenario, los relatos de los testigos entran en conflicto. [13]: 739 Audiencia más recordada ¡Sic Semper tyrannis! pero otros, incluido el propio Booth, dijeron que solo gritó Sic semper! [50] [51] (Algunos no recordaban que Booth dijera nada en latín.) Existe una incertidumbre similar acerca de lo que Booth gritó a continuación, en inglés: "¡El sur está vengado!", [12]: 48 "Venganza para el sur". ! ", o" ¡El Sur será libre! " (Dos testigos recordaron las palabras de Booth como: "¡Lo he hecho!")

Inmediatamente después de que Booth aterrizara en el escenario, el mayor Joseph B. Stewart se subió al foso de la orquesta y las candilejas y persiguió a Booth por el escenario. [49] Los gritos de Mary Lincoln y Clara Harris, y los gritos de Rathbone de "¡Detén a ese hombre!" [12]: 49 incitó a otros a unirse a la persecución cuando estalló el pandemonio.

Booth cruzó corriendo el escenario y salió por una puerta lateral, en el camino apuñalando al líder de la orquesta William Withers, Jr. [52] [53] Había dejado un caballo en el callejón. Cuando saltó a la silla, Booth apartó a Joseph Burroughs, [d] que había estado sujetando el caballo, golpeando a Burroughs con el mango de su cuchillo. [54] [55] [56] [1]

Muerte de Lincoln

Charles Leale, un joven cirujano del ejército, se abrió paso entre la multitud hacia la puerta del palco de Lincoln, pero no pudo abrirla hasta que Rathbone, en el interior, notó y quitó la abrazadera de madera con la que Booth había cerrado la puerta. [8]: 120

Leale encontró a Lincoln sentado con la cabeza inclinada a su derecha [43] mientras Mary lo sostenía y sollozaba: "Sus ojos estaban cerrados y estaba en una condición profundamente comatosa, mientras que su respiración era intermitente y extremadamente estertorosa". [57] [58] Pensando que Lincoln había sido apuñalado, Leale lo tiró al suelo. Mientras tanto, otro médico, Charles Sabin Taft, fue subido al palco desde el escenario.

Después de que el transeúnte William Kent y Leale cortaron el cuello de Lincoln mientras desabotonaban el abrigo y la camisa de Lincoln y no encontraron ninguna herida de arma blanca, Leale localizó la herida de bala detrás de la oreja izquierda. Encontró que la bala era demasiado profunda para extraerla, pero desprendió un coágulo, después de lo cual la respiración de Lincoln mejoró [8]: 121–2. Aprendió que la eliminación regular de nuevos coágulos mantenía la respiración de Lincoln. Después de darle respiración artificial a Lincoln, el Dr. Leale permitió que la actriz Laura Keene acunara la cabeza del presidente en su regazo y él declaró que la herida era mortal. [12]: 78

Leale, Taft y otro médico, Albert King, decidieron que Lincoln debía ser trasladado a la casa más cercana en la calle Décima porque un viaje en carruaje a la Casa Blanca era demasiado peligroso. Con cuidado, siete hombres recogieron a Lincoln y lo sacaron lentamente del teatro, donde estaba lleno de una multitud enojada. Después de considerar el Star Saloon de Peter Taltavull al lado, concluyeron que llevarían a Lincoln a una de las casas al otro lado del camino. Estaba lloviendo cuando los soldados llevaron a Lincoln a la calle, [59] donde un hombre los instó hacia la casa del sastre William Petersen. [60] En el dormitorio del primer piso de Petersen, el Lincoln excepcionalmente alto estaba colocado en diagonal sobre una cama pequeña. [8]: 123–4

Después de sacar a todos de la habitación, incluida la Sra. Lincoln, los médicos cortaron la ropa de Lincoln pero no descubrieron otras heridas al encontrar que Lincoln tenía frío, le aplicaron botellas de agua caliente y tiritas de mostaza mientras cubrían su cuerpo frío con mantas. Más tarde, llegaron más médicos: el Cirujano General Joseph K. Barnes, Charles Henry Crane, Anderson Ruffin Abbott y Robert K. Stone (el médico personal de Lincoln). Todos estuvieron de acuerdo en que Lincoln no podría sobrevivir. Barnes examinó la herida y localizó la bala y algunos fragmentos de hueso. A lo largo de la noche, mientras continuaba la hemorragia, removieron coágulos de sangre para aliviar la presión en el cerebro, [62] y Leale sostuvo la mano del presidente en coma con un apretón firme, "para hacerle saber que estaba en contacto con la humanidad y tenía un amigo." [8]: 14 [63]

El hijo mayor de Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln, llegó alrededor de las 11 p.m., pero Tad Lincoln, de doce años, que estaba viendo una obra de teatro "Aladino”En Grover's Theatre cuando se enteró del asesinato de su padre en Ford's Theatre, se mantuvo alejado. Llegaron el secretario de Marina Gideon Welles y el secretario de Guerra Edwin M. Stanton. Stanton insistió en que Mary Lincoln, que sollozaba, abandonara la habitación del enfermo, y luego, durante el resto de la noche, básicamente dirigió al gobierno de los Estados Unidos desde la casa, incluida la dirección de la búsqueda de Booth y los otros conspiradores. [8]: 127–8 Los guardias mantuvieron alejado al público, pero se admitió que numerosos funcionarios y médicos presentaran sus respetos. [62]

Inicialmente, las facciones de Lincoln estaban tranquilas y su respiración lenta y constante. Más tarde, uno de sus ojos se hinchó y el lado derecho de su cara se descoloró. [64] Maunsell Bradhurst Field escribió en una carta a Los New York Times que luego el presidente comenzó a "respirar con regularidad, pero con esfuerzo, y no parecía estar luchando ni sufriendo". [65] [66] A medida que se acercaba a la muerte, la apariencia de Lincoln se volvió "perfectamente natural" [65] (excepto por la decoloración alrededor de sus ojos). [67] Poco antes de las 7 de la mañana, a Mary se le permitió regresar al lado de Lincoln, [68] y, como informó Dixon, "se sentó de nuevo junto al presidente, lo besó y lo llamó con todos los nombres entrañables". [69]

Lincoln murió a las 7:22 a.m. del 15 de abril. [3] Mary Lincoln no estuvo presente. [70] [71] En sus últimos momentos, el rostro de Lincoln se volvió tranquilo y su respiración más tranquila. [72] Field escribió que "no hubo sufrimiento aparente, ninguna acción convulsiva, ningún traqueteo de la garganta. [Sólo] un mero cese de la respiración". [65] [66] Según el secretario de Lincoln, John Hay, en el momento de la muerte de Lincoln, "una mirada de paz indescriptible se apoderó de sus rasgos desgastados". [73] La asamblea se arrodilló para una oración, después de lo cual Stanton dijo "Ahora pertenece a las edades" o "Ahora pertenece a los ángeles". [8]: 134 [74]

A la muerte de Lincoln, el vicepresidente Johnson se convirtió en el decimoséptimo presidente y fue juramentado por el presidente del Tribunal Supremo, Salmon Chase, entre las 10 y las 11 a. M. [75]

Booth había asignado a Lewis Powell para matar al secretario de Estado William H. Seward. La noche del asesinato, Seward estaba en su casa en Lafayette Park, confinado a la cama y recuperándose de las heridas sufridas el 5 de abril por haber sido arrojado de su carruaje. Herold guió a Powell a la casa de Seward. Powell llevaba un revólver Whitney de 1858 (un arma grande, pesada y popular durante la Guerra Civil) y un cuchillo Bowie.

William Bell, el maître d ’de Seward, abrió la puerta cuando Powell llamó a las 10:10 pm, mientras Booth se dirigía al palco presidencial en el Ford's Theatre. Powell le dijo a Bell que tenía un medicamento del médico de Seward y que sus instrucciones eran mostrarle personalmente a Seward cómo tomarlo. Superando el escepticismo de Bell, Powell subió las escaleras hasta el dormitorio del tercer piso de Seward. [12]: 54 [13]: 736 [76] En lo alto de la escalera fue detenido por el hijo de Seward, el subsecretario de Estado Frederick W. Seward, a quien repitió la historia de la medicina. Frederick, sospechoso, dijo que su padre estaba dormido.

Al escuchar voces, la hija de Seward, Fanny, salió de la habitación de Seward y dijo: "Fred, papá está despierto ahora", revelando así a Powell dónde estaba Seward. Powell se volvió como para empezar a bajar, pero de repente se volvió y sacó su revólver. Apuntó a la frente de Frederick y apretó el gatillo, pero el arma falló, por lo que golpeó a Frederick hasta dejarlo inconsciente. Bell, gritando "¡Asesinato! ¡Asesinato!", Salió corriendo en busca de ayuda.

Fanny volvió a abrir la puerta y Powell la empujó hacia la cama de Seward. Apuñaló la cara y el cuello de Seward y le abrió la mejilla. [12]: 58 Sin embargo, la férula (a menudo descrita erróneamente como un collarín) que los médicos habían colocado en la mandíbula rota de Seward impidió que la hoja penetrara en su vena yugular. [13]: 737 Finalmente se recuperó, aunque con graves cicatrices en la cara.

El hijo de Seward, Augustus, y el sargento George F. Robinson, un soldado asignado a Seward, fueron alertados por los gritos de Fanny y recibieron puñaladas al luchar con Powell. Cuando Augustus fue a buscar una pistola, Powell bajó corriendo las escaleras hacia la puerta, [77]: 275 donde se encontró con Emerick Hansell, un mensajero del Departamento de Estado. [78] [79] Powell apuñaló a Hansell en la espalda, luego salió corriendo y exclamó "¡Estoy loco! ¡Estoy loco!". Los gritos provenientes de la casa habían asustado a Herold, quien se escapó, dejando que Powell encontrara su propio camino en una ciudad desconocida. [12]: 59

Booth había asignado a George Atzerodt para que matara al vicepresidente Andrew Johnson, que se alojaba en Kirkwood House en Washington. Atzerodt debía ir a la habitación de Johnson a las 10:15 p.m. y dispararle. [13]: 735 El 14 de abril, Atzerodt alquiló la habitación directamente encima de la de Johnson al día siguiente, llegó allí a la hora señalada y, con una pistola y un cuchillo, fue al bar de la planta baja, donde le preguntó al camarero sobre el carácter de Johnson y comportamiento. Eventualmente se emborrachó y deambuló por las calles, arrojando su cuchillo en algún momento. Se dirigió al hotel Pennsylvania House a las 2 am, donde consiguió una habitación y se fue a dormir. [8]: 166–7 [77]: 335

Horas antes, Booth se había detenido en Kirkwood House y le había dejado una nota a Johnson: "No deseo molestarlo. ¿Está en casa? J. Wilkes Booth". [76] Una teoría sostiene que Booth estaba tratando de averiguar si se esperaba a Johnson en el Kirkwood esa noche [8]: 111 otra sostiene que Booth, preocupado de que Atzerodt no matara a Johnson, tenía la intención de que la nota implicara a Johnson en la conspiración. . [80]

Lincoln fue llorado tanto en el Norte como en el Sur, [77]: 350 y de hecho en todo el mundo. [81] Numerosos gobiernos extranjeros emitieron proclamas y declararon períodos de luto el 15 de abril. [82] [83] Lincoln fue elogiado en los sermones del Domingo de Pascua, que cayó el día después de su muerte. [77]: 357

El 18 de abril, los dolientes hicieron fila de siete en fila durante una milla para ver a Lincoln en su ataúd de nogal en el Salón Este de la Casa Blanca, cubierto de negro. Trenes especiales trajeron a miles de otras ciudades, algunos de los cuales durmieron en el césped del Capitolio. [84]: 120-3 Cientos de miles presenciaron la procesión fúnebre el 19 de abril, [12]: 213 y millones más se alinearon en la ruta de 1.700 millas (2.700 km) del tren que llevó los restos de Lincoln a través de Nueva York a Springfield, Illinois. , a menudo pasando tributos al lado de la pista en forma de bandas, hogueras y canto de himnos. [85]: 31–58 [41]: 231–8

Ulysses S. Grant llamó a Lincoln "indiscutiblemente el hombre más grande que he conocido". [13]: 747 Robert E. Lee expresó su tristeza. [88] Elizabeth Blair, nacida en el sur, dijo que "aquellos de simpatías nacidos en el sur saben ahora que han perdido a un amigo dispuesto y más poderoso para protegerlos y servirlos de lo que ahora pueden esperar encontrar de nuevo". [13]: 744 El orador afroamericano Frederick Douglass calificó el asesinato como una "calamidad indescriptible". [88]

El secretario de Relaciones Exteriores británico, Lord Russell, calificó la muerte de Lincoln como una "triste calamidad". [83] El secretario de Estado en jefe de Asuntos Exteriores de China, el príncipe Kung, se describió a sí mismo como "inexpresablemente conmocionado y sobresaltado". [82] El presidente ecuatoriano Gabriel García Moreno dijo: "Nunca pensé que el noble país de Washington sería humillado por un crimen tan negro y horrible, ni pensé que el señor Lincoln llegaría a un final tan horrible". después de haber servido a su país con tanta sabiduría y gloria en circunstancias tan críticas ". [82] [83] El gobierno de Liberia emitió una proclama llamando a Lincoln "no sólo el gobernante de su propio pueblo, sino el padre de millones de una raza golpeada y oprimida". [83] El gobierno de Haití condenó el asesinato como un "crimen horrible". [83]

Booth y Herold

Media hora después de huir del Ford's Theatre, Booth cruzó el Navy Yard Bridge hacia Maryland. [12]: 67–8 Un centinela del ejército lo interrogó sobre su viaje nocturno. Booth dijo que se dirigía a su casa en la cercana ciudad de Charles. Aunque estaba prohibido que los civiles cruzaran el puente después de las 9 de la noche, el centinela lo dejó pasar. [89] David Herold cruzó el mismo puente menos de una hora después [12]: 81-2 y se reunió con Booth. [12]: 87 Después de recuperar armas y suministros previamente almacenados en Surattsville, Herold y Booth se dirigieron a la casa de Samuel A. Mudd, un médico local, quien entablilló la pierna [12]: 131,153 Booth se había roto en su escape, y más tarde hizo un par de muletas para Booth. [12]: 131,153

Después de un día en la casa de Mudd, Booth y Herold contrataron a un lugareño para que los guiara a la casa de Samuel Cox. [12]: 163 Cox, a su vez, los llevó a Thomas Jones, un simpatizante confederado que escondió a Booth y Herold en Zekiah Swamp durante cinco días hasta que pudieron cruzar el río Potomac. [12]: 224 En la tarde del 24 de abril, llegaron a la granja de Richard H. Garrett, un cultivador de tabaco, en el condado de King George, Virginia. Booth le dijo a Garrett que era un soldado confederado herido.

Una carta del 15 de abril al cirujano de la Marina George Brainerd Todd de su hermano habla de los rumores en Washington sobre Booth:

Hoy toda la ciudad está de luto, casi todas las casas están vestidas de negro y no he visto una sonrisa, ningún negocio, y he visto a muchos hombres fuertes llorando - Algunos informes dicen que Booth es un prisionero, otros que se ha escapado. - pero por las órdenes recibidas aquí, creo que lo secuestran, y durante la noche lo pondrán en un Monitor para mantenerlo a salvo, ya que una turba una vez levantada ahora no conocería un final. [38]

The hunt for the conspirators quickly became the largest in U.S. history, involving thousands of federal troops and countless civilians. Edwin M. Stanton personally directed the operation, [90] authorizing rewards of $50,000 (equivalent to $800,000 in 2020) for Booth and $25,000 each for Herold and John Surratt. [91]

Booth and Herold were sleeping at Garrett's farm on April 26 when soldiers from the 16th New York Cavalry arrived and surrounded the barn, then threatened to set fire to it. Herold surrendered, but Booth cried out, "I will not be taken alive!" [12] : 326 The soldiers set fire to the barn [12] : 331 and Booth scrambled for the back door with a rifle and pistol.

Sergeant Boston Corbett crept up behind the barn and shot Booth in "the back of the head about an inch below the spot where his [Booth's] shot had entered the head of Mr. Lincoln", [92] severing his spinal cord. [12] : 335 Booth was carried out onto the steps of the barn. A soldier poured water into his mouth, which he spat out, unable to swallow. Booth told the soldier, "Tell my mother I die for my country." Unable to move his limbs, he asked a soldier to lift his hands before his face and whispered his last words as he gazed at them: "Useless . useless." He died on the porch of the Garrett farm two hours later. [12] : 336–40 [76] Corbett was initially arrested for disobeying orders but was later released and was largely considered a hero by the media and the public. [41] : 228

Others

Without Herold to guide him, Powell did not find his way back to the Surratt house until April 17. He told detectives waiting there that he was a ditch-digger hired by Mary Surratt, but she denied knowing him. Both were arrested. [8] : 174–9 George Atzerodt hid at his cousin's farm in Germantown, Maryland, about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Washington, where he was arrested April 20. [8] : 169

The remaining conspirators were arrested by month's end – except for John Surratt, who fled to Quebec where Roman Catholic priests hid him. In September, he boarded a ship to Liverpool, England, staying in the Catholic Church of the Holy Cross there. From there, he moved furtively through Europe until joining the Pontifical Zouaves in the Papal States. A friend from his school days recognized him there in early 1866 and alerted the U.S. government. Surratt was arrested by the Papal authorities but managed to escape under suspicious circumstances. He was finally captured by an agent of the United States in Egypt in November 1866. [93]

Scores of persons were arrested, including many tangential associates of the conspirators and anyone having had even the slightest contact with Booth or Herold during their flight. These included Louis J. Weichmann, a boarder in Mrs. Surratt's house Booth's brother Junius (in Cincinnati at the time of the assassination) theater owner John T. Ford James Pumphrey, from whom Booth hired his horse John M. Lloyd, the innkeeper who rented Mrs. Surratt's Maryland tavern and gave Booth and Herold weapons and supplies the night of April 14 and Samuel Cox and Thomas A. Jones, who helped Booth and Herold cross the Potomac. [84] : 186–8 All were eventually released except: [84] : 188

The accused were tried by a military tribunal ordered by Johnson, who had succeeded to the presidency on Lincoln's death:

    David Hunter (presiding)
  • Maj. Gen. Lew WallaceRobert Sanford Foster
  • Brev. Maj. Gen. Thomas Maley Harris
  • Brig. Gen. Albion P. Howe
  • Brig. Gen. August KautzJames A. Ekin
  • Col. Charles H. TompkinsDavid Ramsay Clendenin

The prosecution was led by U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, assisted by Congressman John A. Bingham and Major Henry Lawrence Burnett. [94]

The use of a military tribunal provoked criticism from Edward Bates and Gideon Welles, who believed that a civil court should have presided, but Attorney General James Speed pointed to the military nature of the conspiracy and the facts that the defendants acted as enemy combatants and that martial law was in force at the time in the District of Columbia. (In 1866, in Ex parte Milligan, the United States Supreme Court banned the use of military tribunals in places where civil courts were operational.) [8] : 213–4 Only a simple majority of the jury was required for a guilty verdict and a two-thirds for a death sentence. There was no route for appeal other than to President Johnson. [8] : 222–3

The seven-week trial included the testimony of 366 witnesses. All of the defendants were found guilty on June 30. Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt were sentenced to death by hanging Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O'Laughlen were sentenced to life in prison. [95] Edmund Spangler was sentenced to six years. After sentencing Mary Surratt to hang, five jurors signed a letter recommending clemency, but Johnson refused to stop the execution he later claimed he never saw the letter. [8] : 227

Mary Surratt, Powell, Herold, and Atzerodt were hanged in the Old Arsenal Penitentiary on July 7. [12] : 362,365 Mary Surratt was the first woman executed by the United States government. [96] O'Laughlen died in prison in 1867. Mudd, Arnold, and Spangler were pardoned in February 1869 by Johnson. [12] : 367 Spangler, who died in 1875, always insisted his sole connection to the plot was that Booth asked him to hold his horse.

John Surratt stood trial in Washington in 1867. Four residents of Elmira, New York, [12] : 27 [97] : 125,132,136–7 [98] : 112–5 claimed they had seen him there between April 13 and 15 fifteen others said they either saw him or someone who resembled him, in Washington (or traveling to or from Washington) on the day of the assassination. The jury could not reach a verdict, and John Surratt was released. [8] : 178 [97] : 132–3,138 [99] : 227


The Robert Moss BLOG


What is interesting here is not only the public recording of an important presidential dream but the public disclosure of the method Lincoln used in his attempt to disprove the dream - randomly seeking an answer to the question of the truth of the dream in the pages of the Bible. Lincoln admitted being haunted by the dream and began to seek - rather desperately - for an opposite confirmation from a source he perceived as equally as powerful and magical as the dream. The more seemingly random games he played of opening the Bible and pointing at what lay before him, hoping for a message that denied his dream, the more confirmation he had that his dream was real and as terrifying as it appeared. Confirmation of the truth of dreaming and of the terrible potential truth of this dream in particular froze Lincoln into realizing the dream's fateful end rather than spurring him into working out a different outcome.

Hi Wanda - Yes, the Lincoln assassination dream is well-known and we frequently see a quote from his remarks about dreams in the Bible. But the biographies and books on dreams rarely focus on how he was practicing bibliomancy - using the Bible as his oracle book in the same way as wise women in Appalachia used their "sators" - to get a reading. Your observation that he may have been "frozen" by a sense of fatality from the dream, backed by the Bible, may be spot-on.

Whatever our dreams may seem to portend, I am a great believer in the idea that dreams show us the possible future rather than the predestined future, and that we should always seek to change future events perceived in this way for the better if we don't like 'em. I wrote a whole book on this theme, "Dreaming True".

How appropriate that your original post was posted at 7:22 am - the time on April 15, 1865 when Lincoln died!

I'm reading 'Team of Rivals' which vaguely challenged Lamon's account which got me researching the whole tale. Inconsistencies and external evidence regarding Lamon's account makes one question whether this dream ever took place. Lamon claimed that the incident occurred a few days prior to the assassination, yet Lincoln is supposeed to have said the dream occurred "the other night." From March 24 to April 9, he in fact had been at the front, rather than in the White House. As well, there was no contemporaneous account of the dream following the assassination. No one mentioned it in the voluminous writings of the period, not Mary Lincoln, Lamon, anyone else at the supposed telling of the dream, or anyone to whom those who heard it may have relayed it.

Interesting, that he may had dreamed this dream "away from the White House", as it is my experience that prophetic dreams often come when one is sleeping in a strange place/bed, as opposed to their own familiar surroundings. Love that this blog was posted at the same time of the (dreaded) assassination. We live in a magical world!


The Night Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated

Good Friday, April 14, 1865, was surely one of Abraham Lincoln’s happiest days. The morning began with a leisurely breakfast in the company of his son Robert, just arrived in Washington after serving on General Grant’s staff. “Well, my son, you have returned safely from the front,” Lincoln said. “The war is now closed, and we soon will live in peace with the brave men that have been fighting against us.” He urged Robert to “lay aside” his Army uniform and finish his education, perhaps in preparation for a law career. As the father imparted his advice, Mary Lincoln’s seamstress, Elizabeth Keckley, observed, “His face was more cheerful than [she] had seen it for a long while.”

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At 11 a.m., Grant arrived at the White House to attend the regularly scheduled Friday cabinet meeting. He had hoped for word that Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s army, the last substantial Rebel force remaining, had surrendered in North Carolina, but no news had yet arrived. Lincoln told Grant not to worry. He predicted that the tidings would come soon, “for he had last night the usual dream which he had preceding nearly every great and important event of the War.” Gideon Welles asked him to describe the dream. Turning toward him, Lincoln said it involved the Navy secretary’s “element, the water—that he seemed to be in some singular, indescribable vessel, and that he was moving with great rapidity towards an indefinite shore that he had this dream preceding Sumter, Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Stone River, Vicksburg, Wilmington, etc.” Grant remarked that not all those great events had been victories, but Lincoln remained hopeful that this time this event would be favorable.

The complexities of re-establishing law and order in the Southern states dominated the conversation. A few days earlier, War Secretary Edwin Stanton had drafted a plan for imposing a temporary military government on Virginia and North Carolina, until the restoration of civilian rule. “Lincoln alluded to the paper,” Stanton later recalled, “went into his room, brought it out and asked me to read it.” A general discussion revealed that most of the cabinet concurred, although Welles and Postmaster General William Dennison objected to the idea of undoing state boundaries by uniting two different states into a single military department. Recognizing the validity of this objection, Lincoln asked Stanton to revise his plan to make it applicable to two separate states.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

Lincoln said that “he thought it providential that this great rebellion was crushed just as Congress had adjourned,” since he and the cabinet were more likely to “accomplish more without them than with them” regarding Reconstruction. He noted that “there were men in Congress who, if their motives were good, were nevertheless impracticable, and who possessed feelings of hate and vindictiveness in which he did not sympathize and could not participate. He hoped there would be no persecution, no bloody work, after the war was over.”

As for the Rebel leaders, Lincoln reiterated his resolve to perpetrate no further violence: “None need expect he would take any part in hanging or killing those men, even the worst of them.” While their continued presence on American soil might prove troublesome, he preferred to “frighten them out of the country, open the gates, let down the bars, scare them off.” To illustrate his point, he shook “his hands as if scaring sheep,” and said, “Enough lives have been sacrificed. We must extinguish our resentments if we expect harmony and union.”

After the cabinet meeting, Stanton and Attorney General James Speed descended the stairs together. “Didn’t our Chief look grand today?” Stanton asked. Years later, Speed held fast “to the memory of Lincoln’s personal appearance” that day, “with cleanly-shaved face, well-brushed clothing and neatly-combed hair and whiskers,” a marked contrast to his usual rumpled aspect. Stanton later wrote that Lincoln seemed “more cheerful and happy” than at any previous cabinet meeting, thrilled by “the near prospect of firm and durable peace at home and abroad.” Throughout the discussion, Stanton recalled, Lincoln “spoke very kindly of General Lee and others of the Confederacy,” exhibiting “in marked degree the kindness and humanity of his disposition, and the tender and forgiving spirit that so eminently distinguished him.”

Later that day, Lincoln put into practice his liberal policy toward the Rebel leaders. Intelligence had reached Stanton at the War Department that “a conspicuous secessionist,” Jacob Thompson, was en route to Portland, Maine, where a steamer awaited to take him to England. Operating from Canada, Thompson had organized a series of troublesome raids across the border that left Stanton with little sympathy for the Confederate marauder. Upon reading the telegram, Stanton did not hesitate a moment. “Arrest him!” he ordered Assistant Secretary Charles Dana. As Dana was leaving the room, however, Stanton called him back. “No, wait better to go over and see the President.”

Dana found Lincoln in his office. “Halloo, Dana!” Lincoln greeted him. “What’s up?” Dana described the situation, explaining that Stanton wanted to arrest Thompson but thought he should first “refer the question” to Lincoln. “Well,” said Lincoln, “no, I rather think not. When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he’s trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.”

Mary Lincoln’s memories of her husband’s infectious happiness that day match the recollections of his inner circle. She had never seen him so “cheerful,” she told the painter Francis Carpenter, “his manner was even playful. At 3 o’clock, in the afternoon, he drove out with me in the open carriage, in starting, I asked him, if any one, should accompany us, he immediately replied—‘No—I prefer to ride by ourselves to day.’ During the drive he was so gay, that I said to him, laughingly, ‘Dear Husband, you almost startle me by your great cheerfulness,’ he replied, ‘and well I may feel so, Mary, I consider this day, the war, has come to a close—and then added, ‘We must both, be more cheerful in the future—between the war & the loss of our darling Willie—we have both, been very miserable.’”

As the carriage rolled toward the Navy Yard, Mary recalled, “he spoke of his old Springfield home, and recollections of his early days, his little brown cottage, the law office, the courtroom, the green bag for his briefs and law papers, his adventures when riding the circuit.” They had traveled an unimaginable distance together since their first dance in Springfield a quarter of a century earlier. Over the years, they had supported each other, irritated each other, shared a love of family, politics, poetry and drama. Mary’s descent into depression after their son Willie’s death had added immeasurably to Lincoln’s burdens, and the terrible pressures of the war had further distorted their relationship. His intense focus on his presidential responsibilities had often left her feeling abandoned and resentful. Now, with the war coming to an end and time bringing solace to their grief, the Lincolns could plan for a happier future. They hoped to travel someday—to Europe and the Holy Land, over the Rockies to California, then back home to Illinois, where their life together had begun.

As the carriage neared the White House, Lincoln saw that a group of old friends, including Illinois Gov. Richard Oglesby, were just leaving. “Come back, boys, come back,” he told them, relishing the relaxing company of friends. They remained for some time, Oglesby recalled. “Lincoln got to reading some humorous book I think it was by ‘John Phoenix.’ They kept sending for him to come to dinner. He promised each time to go, but would continue reading the book. Finally he got a sort of peremptory order that he must come to dinner at once.”

The early dinner was necessary, for the Lincolns had plans to see Laura Keene in Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre that evening. After supper, the president met with journalist Noah Brooks, Massachusetts Congressman George Ashmun and House Speaker Schuyler Colfax, who was soon to depart for California. “How I would rejoice to make that trip!” Lincoln told Colfax, “but public duties chain me down here, and I can only envy you its pleasures.” The president invited Colfax to join him at the theater that night, but Colfax had too many commitments.

To Brooks, Lincoln had never seemed “more hopeful and buoyant concerning the condition of the country. He was full of fun and anecdotes, feeling especially jubilant at the prospect before us.” His parting words, Brooks recalled, focused on the country’s economic future. “Grant thinks that we can reduce the cost of the Army establishment at least a half million a day, which, with the reduction of expenditures of the Navy, will soon bring down our national debt to something like decent proportions, and bring our national paper up to a par, or nearly so with gold.”

Speaker Colfax was among several people who declined the Lincolns’ invitation to the theater that evening. The morning edition of the National Republican had announced that the Grants would join the Lincolns in the president’s box that night, but Julia Grant had her heart set on visiting their children in New Jersey, so Grant asked to be excused. The Stantons also declined. Stanton considered the theater a foolish diversion and, more important, a dangerous one. He had fought a losing battle for months to keep the president from such public places, and he felt that his presence would only sanction an unnecessary hazard. Earlier that day, “unwilling to encourage the theater project,” Stanton had refused to let his chief telegrapher, Thomas Eckert, accept Lincoln’s invitation, even though the president had teasingly requested him for his uncommon strength—he had been known to “break a poker over his arm” and could serve as a bodyguard.

It was after 8 when the Lincolns entered their carriage to drive to the theater. “I suppose it’s time to go,” Lincoln told Colfax, “though I would rather stay.” While nothing had provided greater diversion during the bitter nights of his presidency than the theater, Lincoln required no escape on this happy night. Still, he had made a commitment. “It has been advertised that we will be there,” he told his bodyguard, William Crook, who had the night off, “and I cannot disappoint the people.” Clara Harris—the daughter of Mary’s friend Senator Ira Harris—and her fiancé, Maj. Henry Rathbone, joined the Lincolns in their carriage.

As the Lincolns rode to Ford’s Theatre on Tenth Street, John Wilkes Booth and three conspirators were a block away, at the Herndon House. Booth had devised a plan that called for the simultaneous assassinations of President Lincoln, Secretary of State William Henry Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson. Having learned that morning of Lincoln’s plan to attend the theater, he had decided that this night would provide their best opportunity. The powerfully built Lewis Powell, accompanied by David Herold, was assigned to kill Seward at his Lafayette Square home. Meanwhile, the carriage maker George Atzerodt was to shoot the vice president in his suite at the Kirkwood Hotel. Booth, whose familiarity with the stagehands would ensure access, would assassinate the president.

Just as Brutus had been honored for slaying the tyrant Julius Caesar, Booth believed he would be exalted for killing an even “greater tyrant.” Assassinating Lincoln would not be enough. “Booth knew,” his biographer Michael W. Kauffman observes, “that in the end, the Brutus conspiracy was foiled by Marc Antony, whose famous oration made outlaws of the assassins and a martyr of Caesar.” William Henry Seward, Lincoln’s Marc Antony, must not live. Finally, to throw the entire North into disarray, the vice president must die as well. The triple assassinations were set for 10:15 p.m.

Still bedridden, Seward had enjoyed his best day since his nearly fatal carriage accident nine days earlier. His daughter Fanny Seward noted in her diary that he had slept well the previous night and had taken “solid food for the first time.” In the afternoon, he had “listened with a look of pleasure to the narrative of the events of the Cabinet meeting,” which Fred Seward, as assistant secretary, had attended in his father’s stead. Later in the afternoon, he had listened to Fanny’s reading of “Enoch Arden” and remarked on how much he enjoyed it.

The three-story house was full of people. The entire family, except Will and Jenny, were there—his wife, Frances, and their other children, Augustus, Fred, Anna and Fanny. In addition to the half-dozen household servants and the State Department messenger rooming on the third floor, two soldiers had been assigned by Stanton to stay with Seward. In the early evening, Stanton had stopped by to check on his friend and colleague. He stayed for a while, chatting with other visitors until martial music in the air reminded him that War Department employees had planned on serenading him that night at his home six blocks away.

After all the guests left, “the quiet arrangements for the night” began. To ensure that Seward was never left alone, the family members had taken turns sitting by his bed. That night Fanny was scheduled to stay with him until 11 p.m., when her brother Gus would relieve her. George Robinson, one of the soldiers whom Stanton had detailed to the household, was standing by. Shortly after 10 p.m., Fanny noticed that her father was falling asleep. She closed the pages of the Legends of Charlemagne, turned down the gas lamps, and took a seat on the opposite side of the bed.

Fred Seward later wrote that “there seemed nothing unusual in the occurrence, when a tall, well dressed, but unknown man presented himself” at the door. Powell told the servant who answered the bell that he had some medicine for Mr. Seward and had been instructed by his physician to deliver it in person. “I told him he could not go up,” the servant later testified, “that if he would give me the medicine, I would tell Mr. Seward how to take it.” Powell was so insistent that the boy stepped aside. When he reached the landing, Fred Seward stopped him. “My father is asleep give me the medicine and the directions I will take them to him.” Powell argued that he must deliver it in person, but Fred refused.

At this point, Fred recalled, the intruder “stood apparently irresolute.” He began to head down the stairs, then “suddenly turning again, he sprang up and forward, having drawn a Navy revolver, which he levelled, with a muttered oath, at my head, and pulled the trigger.” This was the last memory Fred would have of that night. The pistol misfired, but Powell brought it down so savagely that Fred’s skull was crushed in two places, exposing his brain and rendering him unconscious.

Hearing the disturbance, Pvt. Robinson ran to the door from Seward’s bedside. The moment the door was opened, Powell rushed inside, brandishing his now broken pistol in one hand and a large knife in the other. He slashed Robinson in the forehead with his knife, knocking him “partially down,” and headed toward Seward. Fanny ran beside Powell, begging him not to kill her father. When Seward heard the word “kill,” he awakened, affording him “one glimpse of the assassin’s face bending over” before the large bowie knife plunged into his neck and face, severing his cheek so badly that “the flap hung loose on his neck.” Oddly, he would later recall that his only impressions were what a fine-looking man Powell was and “what handsome cloth that overcoat is made of.”

Fanny’s screams brought her brother Gus into the room as Powell advanced again upon Seward, who had been knocked to the floor by the force of the blows. Gus and the injured Robinson managed to pull Powell away, but not before he struck Robinson again and slashed Gus on the forehead and the right hand. When Gus ran for his pistol, Powell bolted down the stairs, stabbing Emerick Hansell, the young State Department messenger, in the back before he bolted out the door and fled through the city streets.


Abraham Lincoln’s Prophetic Dream

According to History.com, Ward Hill Lamon, Abraham Lincoln’s former law partner, friend and sometime bodyguard—told a famous story about the 16th U.S. president’s premonition of his own death. According to the tale, just a few days before his assassination on April 14, 1865, Lincoln shared a recent dream with a small group that included his wife, Mary Todd, and Lamon. In it, he walked into the East Room of the White House to find a covered corpse guarded by soldiers and surrounded by a crowd of mourners. When Lincoln asked one of the soldiers who had died, the soldier replied, “The president. He was killed by an assassin.” (Interestingly, Lincoln supposedly later insisted to Lamon that the body on display was not his own—so he himself did not view the dream as a portent of his own demise.) Some historians have cast doubt on Lamon’s account, which was first published in the 1880s, nearly 20 years after the assassination. Though Lamon claimed to have reconstructed the incident based on notes he made in 1865, it does seem odd that neither he nor Mary Lincoln mentioned the dream right after the president’s murder.

Even if Lamon’s story isn’t true, Abraham Lincoln was apparently quite interested in the meaning of dreams and what they have to say about future events both positive and negative. Proof of his curiosity lies in an 1863 letter to his wife, who at the time was in Philadelphia with their 10-year-old son, Tad. Lincoln writes that Mary had better “put Tad’s pistol away” as he “had an ugly dream about him.” Moreover, members of Lincoln’s cabinet recalled that, on the morning of his assassination, the president told them he’d dreamed of sailing across an unknown body of water at great speed. He also apparently revealed that he’d had the same dream repeatedly on previous occasions, before “nearly every great and important event of the War.” This story again points to Lincoln’s interest in the predictive power of dreams—but it doesn’t offer hard evidence that he foresaw his own death.

There are numerous cases throughout history involving dreams that seem to predict the future:

  • After the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, hundreds of people reported that they had dreams and premonitions of the ship’s demise. Nineteen of those experiences were authenticated.
  • MLK had a dream that seemed to predict his untimely death. 3 days before his brother was killed in a riverboat accident. The details of Twain’s dream and the actual event are strikingly similar.

Dreams are powerful things! In fact, they are the most powerful part of who we are. Whether your dreams are advising you, warning you or inspiring you, they are an endless resource you can tap into every single morning… once you know their secret language! My book Dream on It will have you understanding your dreams in no time! Keep it by your bedside so you can easily figure out your dreams as soon as you wake from them. You’ll wonder why you didn’t get it sooner!

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President Lincoln dreams about his assassination - HISTORY

L incoln awoke the morning of April 14 in a pleasant mood. Robert E. Lee had surrendered several days before to Ulysses Grant, and now Lincoln was awaiting word from North Carolina on the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston. The morning papers carried the announcement that the president and his wife would be attending the comedy, Our American Cousin, at Ford's Theater that evening with General Grant and his wife.

After an afternoon carriage ride and dinner, Mary complained of a headache and considered not going after all. Lincoln commented that he was feeling a bit tired himself, but he needed a laugh and was intent on going with or without her. She relented. He made a quick trip to the War Department with his body guard, William Crook, but there was no news from North Carolina. While returning to pick up Mary, Crook "almost begged" Lincoln not to go to the theater. He then asked if he could go along as an extra guard. Lincoln rejected both suggestions, shrugging off Crook's fears of assassination. Lincoln knew that a guard would be posted outside their "state box" at the theater.

Arriving after the play had started, the two couples swept up the stairs and into their seats. The box door was closed, but not locked. As the play progressed, police guard John Parker, a notorious drinker, left his post in the hallway leading to the box and went across the street for a drink. During the third act, the President and Mrs. Lincoln drew closer together, holding hands while enjoying the play. Behind them, the door opened and a man stepped into the box. Pointing a derringer at the back of Lincoln's head, he pulled the trigger. Mary reached out to her slumping husband and began shrieking. Now wielding a dagger, the man yelled, "Sic semper tyrannis!" ("Thus always to tyrants"), slashed Rathbone's arm open to the bone, and then leapt from the box. Catching his spur in a flag, he crashed to the stage, breaking his left shin in the fall. Rathbone and Harris both yelled for someone to stop him, but he escaped out the back stage door.

An unconscious Lincoln was carried across the street to the Petersen House and into the room of a War Department clerk. The bullet had entered behind the left ear and ripped a path through the left side of his brain, mortally wounding him. He died the next morning.

Gideon Welles served Lincoln as Secretary of the Navy. On the night of April 14, he was awakened with the news that Lincoln had been shot. Together with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, he rushed to Ford's Theater. They found the area packed with an excited crowd and learned that Lincoln had been taken to a house across the street. Clamoring up the stairs, Welles asked a doctor he recognized about Lincoln's condition. The physician replied that the President might live another three hours. We pick up his story as he enters the room where Lincoln lay:

"The President had been carried across the street from the theater to the house of a Mr. Peterson. We entered by ascending a flight of steps above the basement and passing through a long hall to the rear, where the President lay extended on a bed, breathing heavily. Several surgeons were present, at least six, I should think more. Among them I was glad to observe Doctor Hall, who, however, soon left. I inquired of Doctor Hall, as I entered, the true condition of the President. He replied the President was dead to all intents, although he might live three hours or perhaps longer.

The giant sufferer lay extended diagonally across the bed, which was not long enough for him. He had been stripped of his clothes. His large arms, which were occasionally exposed, were of a size which one would scarce have expected from his spare appearance. His slow, full respiration lifted the clothes with each breath that he took. His features were calm and striking. I had never seen them appear to better advantage than for the first hour, perhaps, that I was there. After that his right eye began to swell and that part of his face became discolored.

Senator Sumner was there, I think, when I entered. If not he came in soon after, as did Speaker Colfax, Mr. Secretary McCulloch, and the other members of the cabinet, with the exception of Mr. Seward. A double guard was stationed at the door and on the sidewalk to repress the crowd, which was of course highly excited and anxious. The room was small and overcrowded. The surgeons and members of the cabinet were as many as should have been in the room, but there were many more, and the hall and other rooms in the front or main house were full. One of these rooms was occupied by Mrs. Lincoln and her attendants, with Miss Harris. Mrs. Dixon and Mrs. Kinney came to her about twelve o'clock. About once an hour Mrs. Lincoln would repair to the bedside of her dying husband and with lamentation and tears remain until overcome by emotion.

An illustration of President Lincoln's death
scene published by Semanal de Harper
May 6, 1865
A door which opened upon a porch or gallery, and also the windows, were kept open for fresh air. The night was dark, cloudy, and damp, and about six it began to rain. I remained in the room until then without sitting or leaving it, when, there being a vacant chair which some one left at the foot of the bed, I occupied it for nearly two hours, listening to the heavy groans and witnessing the wasting life of the good and great man who was expiring before me.

About 6 A.M. I experienced a feeling of faintness, and for the first time after entering the room a little past eleven I left it and the house and took a short walk in the open air. It was a dark and gloomy morning, and rain set in before I returned to the house some fifteen minutes later. Large groups of people were gathered every few rods, all anxious and solicitous. Some one or more from each group stepped forward as I passed to inquire into the condition of the President and to ask if there was no hope. Intense grief was on every countenance when I replied that the President could survive but a short time. The colored people especially-and there were at this time more of them, perhaps, than of whites - were overwhelmed with grief.

A little before seven I went into the room where the dying President was rapidly drawing near the closing moments. His wife soon after made her last visit to him. The death struggle had begun. Robert, his son, stood with several others at the head of the bed. He, bore himself well but on two occasions gave way to overpowering grief and sobbed aloud, turning his head and leaning on the shoulder of Senator Sumner. The respiration of the President became suspended at intervals and at last entirely ceased at twenty-two minutes past seven"


Referencias:
Morse, John T. (editor), The Diary of Gideon Welles (1911) Panati, Charles. Panati's Extraordinary Endings of Practically Everything and Everybody (1988) Stephen B. With Malice toward None: The Life of Abraham Lincoln (1977).


The night Lincoln was assassinated, his new bodyguard went missing

At the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln had no illusions about the frequent threats to kill him.

On the afternoon of April 14, 1865 — five days after the South surrendered — he told one of his bodyguards, William Crook, “I have perfect confidence in those who are around me, in every one of your men … But if it is to be done, it is impossible to prevent it.”

That night, the 56-year-old Lincoln went to see a play at Ford’s Theatre under the watch of a new guard, a D.C. police officer named John Frederick Parker. Parker’s dereliction of duty helped change U.S. history.

Ironically, on this same day, Lincoln signed legislation to create the Secret Service — not to protect the president, but to combat counterfeiting. He was guarded round-the-clock by one member of a four-man security unit.

The 35-year-old Parker was an odd choice for this prestigious assignment. He had a record of unreliability, including drinking and frequenting a “house of ill repute” while on duty, according to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

Confederate sympathizers were everywhere in the capital. One of them was the famous 26-year-old actor John Wilkes Booth, who that day went to Ford’s Theatre to pick up his mail. The news was that Lincoln and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant planned to attend that evening’s Good Friday performance of the popular comedy “Our American Cousin.”

Lincoln wasn’t keen about going that night but didn’t want to disappoint the public. Grant and his wife decided to visit their children in New Jersey. So Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, invited Clara Harris and her fiance, Maj. Henry Rathbone, to join them. Parker reported for duty three hours late and was sent ahead to Ford’s Theatre.

The presidential carriage got off to a late start. The play had begun when Lincoln and his party entered the theater well after 8 p.m. They went to a special presidential box above the right side of the stage. The actors stopped, and the crowd stood and cheered as the orchestra played “Hail to the Chief.”

Parker had been provided a chair outside the door to the box in a passageway. But he couldn’t see the play and soon moved into the audience. At intermission, he went to the Star Saloon next door. Whether he returned to the theater is still a mystery.


Abraham Lincoln’s Legacy Still Important 150 Years After His Assassination

President Abraham Lincoln died 150 years ago today, succumbing to a bullet wound delivered by the famous stage actor turned assassin, John Wilkes Booth. The 16th President of the United States was shot in the back of the head while watching the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C.

Lincoln’s assassination had actually been part of a larger plot by Confederate sympathizers angry about the South’s looming defeat in the American Civil War. When the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse on April 12 , 1865, Booth and his fellow would-be assassins decided to go through with the plot. The conspirators planned to assassinate Lincoln and other high-ranking government officials in order to send the Union government into chaos. Strangely enough, John Wilkes Booth’s father, named Junius Brutus Booth after an assassin of Julius Caesar, was also a famous actor and had sent a threatening letter to President Andrew Jackson in 1835. Though he threatened Jackson with assassination, Junius never carried it out the younger Booth would end up pulling off the terrible deed 30 years later.

In the days leading up to his death, Lincoln was the happiest he had been during his entire presidency. Union victory was all but inevitable. However, the “Great Emancipator” had been having bad dreams about his own death and was struggling to get over the premature demise of his son, Willie. The fateful evening at Ford’s theater with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was the president’s attempt to relax and return to a normal life.

Associated Press reporter Lawrence Gobright covered the dramatic events of the assassination that shocked the nation. He described the dramatic scene that spectators witnessed when Booth shot Lincoln.

The theatre was densely crowded, and everybody seemed delighted with the scene before them. During the third act and while there was a temporary pause for one of the actors to enter, a sharp report of a pistol was heard, which merely attracted attention, but suggested nothing serious until a man rushed to the front of the President’s box, waving a long dagger in his right hand, exclaiming, ‘Sic semper tyrannis,’ and immediately leaped from the box, which was in the second tier, to the stage beneath, and ran across to the opposite side, made his escape amid the bewilderment of the audience from the rear of the theatre, and mounted a horse and fled.

Booth then ran out of the theater and is believed to have yelled, “The South shall be free! I have done it! Virginia is avenged!”

In the Regnery History book, Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination, author Thomas A. Bogar described the reactions in Ford’s theater to the chaotic events of the assassination. Bogar wrote that when ticket agent Joe Sessford saw Booth leap onto the stage he exclaimed, “My God, then, is John Booth crazy?” Others were shouting, “Hang him! Kill Him! Shoot Him! Lynch him!” Actor Ned Emerson described the theater as “a whirlpool, [an] inextricable chaos of mad humanity [swirling] hither and tither in hysterical aimlessness… no one seemed to have retained a scintilla of self-possession.”

Lincoln’s assassin was able to slip out of the theater and went on the run from the law. He was hunted down by authorities and shot in a burning Virginia farm house near Port Royal, Virginia.

The president’s death stunned the nation and there was an enormous outpouring of grief as Lincoln’s funeral train made its 1,600-mile trip across the country, bringing his body from Washington, D.C. to its final resting place in Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln’s legacy in the United States overshadows almost any other American outside of George Washington. Though he was so controversial in his own time that his presidential election sent one section of the country into open rebellion, there is no question that Lincoln’s life, leadership, and principles profoundly shaped the course of this nation’s history.

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, James L. Swanson y Michael F. Bishop escribieron sobre la importancia de Lincoln para los estadounidenses modernos y el legado de su prematura muerte. “La muerte de Lincoln nos recuerda que el liderazgo importa, y eso depende mucho del ocupante de la Casa Blanca”, escribieron Swanson y Bishop. “Lincoln vivió y murió por la libertad, la unión y la igualdad de derechos para todas las personas. Con cada fibra de su ser, Abraham Lincoln creía en la grandeza y el excepcionalismo estadounidenses ".

Ciento cincuenta años después de la muerte de Lincoln, mientras el país se prepara para otra elección presidencial, es importante recordar la vida y los principios de este estadista estadounidense por excelencia y profundamente talentoso.


Ver el vídeo: El fantasma de Lincoln en la Casa Blanca


Comentarios:

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