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Photo Tour: Escape Route of John Wilkes Booth

Pursuing an Assassin


In 1864, noted actor John Wilkes Booth conceived a scheme to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln with the goal of restarting the exchange of prisoners of war between the Union and Confederacy. After a failed attempt in March 1865, and the surrender of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, Booth escalated his plan to killing Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward. On the night of April 14, Booth shot Lincoln at Ford's Theater while an accomplice attacked Seward. No attack was carried out on Johnson. Hoping to utilize the network put in place for the kidnap scheme, Booth and his co-conspirator David Herold, fled south from Washington. After stopping at the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd to have his broken leg set, Booth and Herold hid in the wilderness and various safe houses until reaching the Garrett Farm near Bowling Green, VA. There, on April 26, he was cornered in the Garrett's tobacco barn and killed by Union cavalry.
Images 1-11 of 11
Ford's TheaterSurratt Boarding HouseThe Petersen HouseSurratt House & Tavern
Dr. Samuel Mudd HouseTo the PotomacDent's MeadowPoint Mathias
CleydaelThe Garrett FarmDeath & Punishment
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