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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wanted Poster for A. Lincoln Killer Photo CBowman

"I struck for my country and that alone."
--John Wilkes Booth, April 21, 1865
John Wilkes Booth believed he could improve chances for a separate Southern nation if he assassinated the president, vice president, secretary of state, and General Grant. He thought the resulting chaos would force the North to accept a negotiated peace that would preserve the Confederacy.
Booth and at least nine other Southern sympathizers were the subjects of an intensive manhunt. Booth was located on a southeastern Virginia farm, where he died from self-inflicted wounds on April 26. The others were tried in a military court. Four were hanged, four received prison sentences (commuted by President Andrew Johnson in 1869), and one was acquitted in 1867.

Reward poster: For twelve days, John Wilkes Booth avoided capture. The government offered significant rewards for any information that would lead to the capture of the assassins.
Courtesy of Library of Congress