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News and Highlights: From the Vault (April 2005)

A Nation Mourns Its Honored President!

On Friday, April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln died the following morning, and Booth's escape route is now well-known. At the time, Corporal Edwin Keay (Co. C and E, 91st New York), who was stationed at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, noted his own account of the event in his diary.

Saturday, April 15, 1865

Cloudy times and cloudy weather. Presdt. Lincoln & Secty Seward assassinated in Washington City. The Presdt reported dieing [sic]. J. Wilkes Booth reported as the assassin. the president reported as dieing [sic] at 7 1/4 this morning. the Booth brothers reported arrested as the assassinators of Lincoln & Seward, who are both reported as dead.

MDMS5433, Keay diary entry, April 15, 1865

Maryland Manuscript Collection, #5433

Other accounts of Lincoln's Death

Writing in Easton, Maryland, former schoolteacher Leonidas Dodson devoted several pages of his journal to newspaper clippings and his own thoughts the Lincoln assassination. He wrote: It has been a day of sorrow such as is rarely experienced in a nation's history.

Dodson diary excerpt, April 15, 1865

Papers of Leonidas Dodson

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