The President Shot at the
Theatre Last Evening
DAGGERED IN HIS BED, BUT
NOT MORTALLY WOUNDED.
Carence and Frederick Seward
ESCAPE OF ASSASSINS.
Intense Excitement in Washington
Scene at the Deathbed of
J. Wilkes Booth, the Actor, the alleged
Assassin of the President
Major General Dix, New York:
Washing-ton, April 15-1:30 A.M.
This evening at about 9:30 P.M., at Ford's Theatre, the President, while
sitting in the private box with Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Harris and Major
Rathburn, was shot by an assassin, who suddenly entered the box and approached
behind the President.
then leaped upon the stage brandishing a large dagger or knife, and made
his escape in the rear of the theatre.
ball entered the back of the President's head and penetrated nearly through
the head. The wound is mortal.
has been insensible ever since it was inflicted, and is now dying.
the same hour an assassin, whether the same or not, entered Mr. Seward's
apartments, and under pretense of having a prescription was shown to the
secretary's sick chamber. The assassin immediately rushed to the
bed and inflicted two or three stabs on the throat and two in the face.
hoped the wounds may not be mortal. My apprehension is that they
will prove fatal.
alarmed Mr. Frederick Seward, who was in an adjoining room, and he hastened
to the door of his father's room, when he met the assassin, who inflicted
upon him one or more dangerous wounds. The recovery of Frederick
Seward is doubtful.
not probable that the President will live through the night.
Grant and wife were advertised to be at the theatre this evening, but he
started to Burlington at six o'clock this evening.
At a Cabinet
meeting, at which General Grant was present, the subject of the state of
the country and the prospect of a speedy peace were discussed.
The President was very cheerful and hopeful, and spoke very kindly of General
Lee and other of the confederacy, and of the establishment of government
members of the Cabinet except Seward, are now in attendance upon the President.
seen Mr. Seward, but he and Frederick were both unconscious.
THE HERALD DESPATCHES
Assassination has been inaugurated
in Washington. The bowie knife and pistol have been applied to President
Lincoln and Secretary Seward. The former was shot in the throat,
while at Ford's theatre to-night. Mr. Seward was badly cut about
the neck, while in his bed-at his residence.
Washington, April 14, 1865
An attempt was made about ten o'clock
this evening to assassinate the President and Secretary Seward. the
President was shot at Ford's Theatre. Result not yet known.
Mr. Seward's throat was cut, and his son badly wounded.
Washington, April 14, 1865
is intense excitement here.
Details of the Assassination
was thrown into an intense excitement a few minutes before eleven o'clock
this evening, by the announcement that the President and Secretary Seward
had been assassinated and were dead.
excitement prevailed in all parts of the city. Men, women and children,
old and young, rushed to and fro and the rumors were magnified until
we had nearly every member of the Cabinet killed. Some
time elapsed before authenic data could be ascertained in regard to the
and Mrs. Lincoln were at Ford's theatre, listening to the performance
of the American Cousin, occupying a box in the second tier.
At the close of the third act a person entered the box occupied by the
President, and shot Mr. Lincoln in the head. The shot entered
the back of his head, and came out above the temple.
then jumped for the box upon the stage and ran across to the other side,
exhibiting a dagger in his hand,
flourishing it a tragical manner,
shouting the same words repeated by the desperado at Mr. Seward's
house, adding to it, "The South is revenged," and then escaped from the
back entrance to the stage, but in his passage dropped his pistol and his
hat. Mr. Lincoln fell foward from this seat, and Mrs. Lincoln fainted.
the astonished audience could realize what had happened, the President
and carried to Mr. Peterson's house, on Tenth street, opposite to the theatre.
Medical aid was immediately sent for, and the wound was at first said to
be fatal. The President is still alive, but in precarions condition.
assassin ran across the stage, Colonel J.B. Stewart, of the city, who was
occupying one of the front seats in the orchestra, on the [?] side of the
house as the box occupied by Mr. Lincoln, sprang to the stage and followed
him; but he was obstructed in his passage across the stage by the flight
of the actors, and reached the back door about three seconds after the
assassin had passed out. Colonel Stewart got to the street just in
time to see him mount his horse and ride away.
The operation showed that the whole thing was a preconcerted
plan. The person who fired the pistol was a man about thirty years
of age, about five feet nine, spare built, fair skin, dark hair apparently
bushy, with a large mustache. Laura[...]the leader of the orchestra declare
that they recognized him
as J. Wilkes Booth the actor and secessionist. Whoever he
was, it is plainly evident that he thoroughly understood the theatre and
all the approaches and modes of escape to the stage. A person not
familiar with the theatre could not have possibly made his escape
was [?] in [...]. Mr. Stanton was [...] All the other [...]
Cavalrymen were [sent?] out to all directions, and dispatches
sent to all the fortifications, and it is thought they will
About half-past ten o'clock this evening a tall, well dressed
man made his appearance at Secertary Sewards's residence and
[applied?] for admission. He was refused admssion by the servant
when [the desparado?] stated that he had a prescription
from the Surgeon General, and that he was ordered
to deliver it in person. He was still refused except
upon the written orders of the Physician. This he pretended
to show, and pushed by the servant and rushed up to Mr. Seward's
room. He was met at the door by Fred Seward, who notified
him that he was master of house and would take charge of the
[...] bed, and struck him in the neck with a dagger,
and also in the breast.
It was supposed at first that Mr. Seward was killed instantly,
but it was found afterwards that the wound was not mortal.
Major Wm. B. Seward, Jr., paymaster, was in the room, and rushed
to the defence of his father, and was badly cut in the [?] with the
assassin, but not fatally.
The desparado managed to escape from the house, and was prepared
for escape by having a horse at the door. He immediately mounted
the horse, and sung out the motto of the State of Virginia,
"Sic Semper Tyrannis!" and rode off.
Surgean General Barnes was immediatley sent for, and he examined
Mr. Seward and pronounced him safe. His wounds were not
fatal. the jugular vein was not cut, nor the wound to the breast
deep enough to be fatal.
Washington, April 15-1
The streets in the vicinity of Ford's Theatre are densely crowded by an
anxious and excited crowd. A guard has been placed across Tenth street
and F and E streets, and only official persons and particular
friends of the President are allowed to pass.
One o'Clock A.M.
The President is perfectly senseless, and there is not the slightest hope
of his surviving. Physicians believe that he will die before morning.
All of his Cabinet, except Secretary Seward are with him. Speaker
Colfax, Senator Farwell, of Maine, and many other gentlemen, are also at
the house awaiting the termination. The scene at the President's
bedside is described by those who witnessed it as most affecting.
He was surrounded by his Cabinet ministers, all of whom were bathed
in tears, not even excepting Mr. Stanson, who when informed by Surgeon
General Barnes, that the President would not live until morning,
exclaimed "Oh, no, General, no-no," and with an impulse natural as it was
unaffected, immediately sat down on a chair near his bedside and
wept like a child.
The popular heart is deeply stirred, and the deepest indignation
against leading rebels is freely expressed.
The scene at the house where the President lies in extremis is very affecting.
Even Secretary Stanton is affected to tears.
When the news spread throught the city that the President had been shot,
the people, with pale faces and compressed lips, crowded every place where
there was the slighest chance of obtaining information in requard to the
After the President was shot, Lieutenant Rathbun, caught the assassin by
the arm, who immediately struck him with a knife, and jumped from the box,
as before stated.
The popular affection for Mr. Lincoln has been shown by this diabolical
assassination, which will bring eternal infamy, not only [...] upon the
hellish cause which they desired to avenge.
Vice President Johnson arrived at the White House, where the President
lies, about one o'clock, and will remain with him to the last. The President's
family are in attendance upon him also.
As soon as intelligence could be got to the War Department, the electric
telegraph and the Signal corps were put in requisition to endeavor to prevent
the escape of the assassins, and all the troops around Washington are under
Popular report points to a somewhat celebrated actor of known secession
proclivities as the assassin; but it would be unjust to name him until
some further evidence of his guilt is obtained. It is rumored that
the person alluded to is in custody.
The latest advices from Secretary Seward reveals more desperate work there
than at first supposed. Seward's wounds are not in themselves fatal,
but in connection with his recent injuries, and the great loss of blood
he has sustained, his recovery in questionable.
It was Clarence A. Seward, instead of Wm. H. Seward, Jr., who was wounded.
Fred Seward was also badly cut, as were also three nurses, who were in
attendance upon the Secretary, showing that a desperate struggle took place
there. The wounds of the whole party were dressed.
Senator Sumner was seated on the right of the President's couch, near the
head, holding the right hand of the President in his own. He was
sobbing like a woman, with his head bowed down almost onthe pillow of the
bed on which the President was lying.
Two o'Clock A.M.
The President is still alive, but there is no improvement in his condition.
THE PRESS DESPATCHES
Washington, April 15--12:30
The President was shot in the theatre to-night, and is perhaps mortally
Additional Details of the
Washington, April 15--1:30
President Lincoln and wife, with other friends this evening visited Ford's
theatre, for the purpose of
witnessing the performance of the
It was announced in the papers that General Grant would also be presented;
but the gentleman took the late train of cars for New Jersey.
The Theatre was densely crowded, and all 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, and 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, making his escape,
amid the bewilderment of the audience from the rear of the theatre
and mounting a horse, fled.
The screams of Mrs. Lincoln first disclosed the fact to the audience
that the President had been shot, when all present rose
to their feet, rushing towards
the stage, many exclaiming "Hang
him! Hang him!" The excitement
was of the wildest possible description, and of course there was an abrupt
termination of the theatrical performance.
There was a rush towards the President's box, when cries were
heard:-"Stand back and give him
air." "Has any one stimulants?"
On a hasty examination it was found
that the President had been shot through the head, above and back of the
temporal bone, and that some of the brain was oozing out.
He was removed to a private home opposite to the theatre
and a surgeon sent for to attend
to his condition. On an examination of the private box blood was
discovered on the back of the cushioned rocking chair on which the President
had been sitting, also on the partition and on the floor. A
common single barreled pocket pistol
was found on the carpet.
A military guard was placed in front of the private residence
which the President had been conveyed.
An immense crowd was in front of it, all deeply anxious to learn the condition
of the President. It had been previously announced that the wound
was mortal, but all hoped otherwise. The shock to the community was
At midnight the Cabinet, with Messers Sumner, Colfax and
Fransworth, Judge Curtis, Governor Oglesby, General Meigs, Colonel Hay,
and a few personal friends, with Surgeon General
Barnes and his immediate assistants were around his bedside. The
President was in a state of syncope, totally insensible, and
breathing slowly. The blood
oozed from the wound at the back of
The Surgeons exhausted every possible effort of medical skill; but all
hope was gone. The parting of his family with the dying President is too
sad for description.
The President and Mrs. Lincoln did not start for the theatre until fifteen
minutes after eight o'clock. Speaker Colfax was at the White House
at time and the President stated to him that he was going, Mrs. Lincoln
had not been well, because the papers had announced that General Grant
and they were to be present and as General Grant had gone North,
he did not wish the audience to be disappointed.
He went with apparent reluctance and urged Mr. Colfax to go with him, but
the gentleman had made other engagements and, with Mr. Ashman, of Massachusetts,
bid him goodby.
When the excitement at the theatre was at its wildest height reports were
circulated that Secretary Seward had also been assassinated.
On reaching this gentleman's residence a crowd and a military guard were
found at the door, and on entering it was ascertained that the reports
were based on truth.
Everybody there was so excited that scarcely an intelligible word could
be gathered. But the Facts are substantially as follows:-
About ten o'clock a man rang the bell, and the call having been answered
by a colored servant, he said he had come from Dr. Verdi, Secretary Seward's
family physician, with a prescription, at the same time holding in
his hand a small piece of folded paper, and saying, in answer to a refusal,
that he must see the Secretary, as he was entrusted with particular directions
concerning the medicine.
He still insisted on going up, although repeatedly informed that no one
could enter the chamber. The man pushed the servant aside,
and walked hastily towards the Secretary's room, and was then met by Mr.
Frederick Seward, of whom he demanded to see the Secretary making the same
representation which he did to the servant.
What further passed in the way of colloquy is not known; but the man struck
him on the head with a billy, severely injuring the skull and felling him
The assassin then rushed into the chamber and attacked Major Seward, Paymaster
United States Army, and Mr. Hansell, a messenger of the State Department,
and two male nurses, disabling them all.
He then rushed upon the Secretary, who was lying in bed in the same room,
and inflicted three stabs in the neck, but serving, it is thought and hoped,
no arteries, though he bleed profusely.
The assassin then rushed down the stairs, ran out the door, mounted his
horse, and rode off before a alarm could be sounded and in he same manner
as the assassin of the President.
It is believed that the injuries of the Secretary are not fatal,
nor those of either of the others, although both the Secretary and the
Assistant Secretary are very seriously injured.
Secretary Stanten and Welles, and other prominent officers of the Government,
called at Secretary Seward's resident to inquire into his
condition and there heard of the
assassination of the President.
They then proceeded to the house where he was lying, exhibiting of course
intense anxiety and solicitude.
An immense crowd was gathering in front of the
President's house, and a strong guard was also stationed there. Many persons
evidently supposing he would be brought to his home.
The entire city to-night presents a scene of wild excitement accompanied
by [violent?], expression of indignation and profoundest sorrow,
The military authorities have despatched mounted patrols in every direction,
it order if possible to arrest the assassins. The whole metropolitan
police are likewise [?] for the same purpose.
[....]both at the theatre and at Secretary Seward's house took place at
about the same hour-ten o'clock- thus showing a pre- concerted plan to
those gentlemen. some evidence
of the guilt of the party [..no] attacked the President are in the possession
of the police.
Vice President Johnson is in the city, and his headquarters are guarded