Abraham Lincoln's Deathbed

The bed on which Abraham Lincoln died hours after being shot by John Wilkes Booth, taken shortly after Lincoln's body was removed
The bed on which Abraham Lincoln died hours after being shot by John Wilkes Booth, taken shortly after Lincoln's body was removed

Historical Context

Shortly after he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, physicians attending to US President Abraham Lincoln agreed that the president could not survive the wound inflicted on his head. Lincoln was unconscious and bleeding from the wound, and physicians found the bullet behind his left ear was lodged too deeply to be removed, though they were able to remove clots to improve his labored breathing.

His doctors decided that a carriage ride to the White House would be far too dangerous for the mortally wounded president, so he was taken to the house of a local tailor, William Peterson, and, due to his large height, was laid diagonally in a first-floor bedroom.

As he was attended throughout the night (he was shot at 10:15pm on April 14, 1865), his family members such as wife Mary Todd Lincoln and son Robert Todd Lincoln were admitted to pay their final respects. Lincoln's colleagues, such as Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and numerous others, were also allowed in to say their goodbyes.

Lincoln died at exactly 7:22 am the following day. His secretary John Hay later wrote that "a look of unspeakable peace came upon his worn features" at the moment of his death. His Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was sworn in after his death as the 17th President of the United States.

Lincoln was the first of four presidents to be assassinated: James Garfield (1881), William McKinley (1901) and John F. Kennedy (1963) were the others.

Photo Info


Photographer: Julius Ulke
Date taken: April 15, 1865
Location taken: Washington D.C., USA

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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