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The single shot Deringer used by Booth in shooting Abraham Lincoln.

Exhibits Relating to the Assassination

The exhibits on the assassination and the flight of Booth and the conspirators are of special interest. These are contained in two large wall cases located in the old stage area of the theatre close to the spot where the assassination occurred. Several of the articles seen here were among the exhibits used as evidence in the trial of the conspirators in 1865, and were secured on an indefinite loan from the Judge Advocate General's Office of the War Department in 1940.

The approximate location of the Lincoln box and the identical boxes on the opposite side of the stage, the front of the stage, and footprints marking the route of the assassin in his dash across the stage to the rear door have been outlined on the floor, Booth's left boot, preserved in the Museum collection, was used as a pattern for the footprints. The present floor is at the approximate level of the old stage. The double box occupied by the Lincoln party was actually located almost as high as the ceiling of the present first floor.

Diorama showing the interior of Ford's Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865.

Properly placed within the outline of the Lincoln box is the original door to Box 7 with the small hole used by the assassin to peer into the box before entering. It was presented to the Lincoln Museum in 1940 by T. Latimer Ford, grandson of the Civil War owner of the theatre. The pine bar used by Booth to secure the vestibule door so that no one could follow him is seen in the adjoining case.

The case devoted to the story of the assassination contains the single-shot Deringer used by Booth in shooting President Lincoln, the dagger with which he stabbed Major Rathbone, the keys to the boxes, and an opera-glass case dropped by Mrs. Lincoln in the box after the assassination. On loan from the Washington Gas Light Co., is the meter for the gas lights at Ford's Theatre.

In the alcove nearby are three original furnishings from the Presidential box. The U.S. Treasury Guards' flag, with the rent made by Booth's spur clearly visible, is exhibited on the rear wall, It was donated in 1932 by the daughter of Maj. Emory S. Turner, who had retained it after the regiment disbanded. Also displayed are the sofa and engraving of George Washington from the Lincoln box. These were presented in 1959 by Addison H. Reese, a great-grandson of John T. Ford. In the alcove on the opposite side of the room, one of the American flags which decorated the box is exhibited.


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Last Modified: Mon, Dec 2 2002 10:00:00 am PDT

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