Abraham Lincoln was one of the most successful presidents of the “United States of America” who was born on 12 February, 1809 in “Hodgenville, Kentucky” in the USA. He was a great statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the USA. He was one of the successful presidents of the country as he was the person who effectively led the country during the hard times of the “Civil War” and did not allow the country to get divided into parts thereby effectively preserving the “Union of the States.” He was one of the most popular presidents of the country not only for leading the country during the times of Civil War, but also for strengthening the “Federal” form of government, abolishing the practice of slavery and for reshaping as well as modernising the economy of the country. Lincoln was born in a poverty-stricken family, was self-taught and finally became a lawyer all by himself. He later was a member of the “Whig Party” before 1854 and later re-entered the national politics by joining the” Republican Party.” It is to be noted that he did not jump into the Presidentship election altogether but grew through the different grassroot level ranks such as the “Illinois state legislator”, then became the “Congressman” from the state of Illinois and then entered into the Presidentship election campaign. All these great features of a man make such a man both a popular person and at the same time generates hatred in the minds of few who are affected by his good and bold steps. Lincoln was thus assassinated on 14 April, 1865, within the “Ford’s Theatre” in Washington D.C. Therefore, the aim of this essay is to critically evaluate the assassination of “Abraham Lincoln”, the 16th President of the USA.
The assassination of the 16th President of the United Sates, Mr. Abraham Lincoln happened at the “Ford’s Theatre” in Washington D.C. on 14th April, 1865 while staging the show of the play, “Our American Cousin.” The attack was planned not for Abraham Lincoln alone but for all the renowned personalities that were present with President Lincoln on the scene namely, the then Vice President, “Andrew Johnson” and the then secretary of state, “William H. Steward.” It is to be noted that through the President of the USA was plotted to be assassinated the very day of 14th April and the assassination attempt was successful, but the President did not die on the crime scene. He died the day later around 07:22am in “Petersen House” which was located just opposite to the Ford’s Theatre. The assassination attempt was carried out by four responsible persons. The primary perpetrator was “John Wilkes Booth” who attempted the assassination of the US president himself while his co-conspirators namely “David Herold” and “Lewis Powell” were tasked for killing the “Secretary of State” while another co-conspirator, “George Atzerodt” was tasked for killing the “Vice President” of the USA. It is to be noted here that through the conspiracy was planned to eliminate the three most powerful persons back then of the US government namely the President, Vice President and the Secretary of State of the country, only the President of the USA was assassinated while the other two eminent persons were just mildly injured in the act. It is to be noted that such an assassination attempt on a US President was never carried out before in history and this makes this successful assassination attempt as the first in history of the US Presidentship.
Now, discussing the background of the assassination of the 16th US President, one has to delve deeper into the issue of “Confederate states” and their philosophy. It is to be noted that from the very beginning there was no plan of assassination of Abraham Lincoln and rather there was a mere plan to abduct the President in order to carry on the “prisoner exchange’ program between the government of the USA and the “Confederate states.” It is to be specifically noted that the Confederate states of the USA which was formed during the end parts of the Civil War in 1861 and lasted till 1865 had army of their own. The US government backed by the bold moves of the then commander, “Ulysses S. Grant” stopped the prisoner exchange program between the Union Army and the Confederate Army. The Confederate States was fighting with the Union to uphold the slavery system in the South which the Union under Abraham Lincoln was trying to abolish.
Now, as the Commander stopped the prisoner exchange program, “John Wilkes Booth” who was a professional and popular stage actor, plotted an abduction plan concerning the US President just in order to put pressure on the Union government not to abolish the slavery. In order to carrout such an abduction plan, Booth hired people like “George Atzerodt, Samuel Arnold, Lewis Powell, Michael O’Laughlen, John Surratt and David Herold.” The original plan was to abduct the US President while his return from the play organised at the “Campbell General Hospital”, but to everyone’s surprise, the President did not attend the play and went to attend another function at the “National Hotel.” In the meantime, the Confederate capital situated at “Richmond, Virginia fell into the hands of the “Union Army.” This led to the change of plan from an abduction to an assassination plot which finally took effect on the night of the 14th April, 1865 claiming the life of the 16th President of the USA.
Abraham Lincoln who was one of the most successful presidents of the USA was brutally assassinated on 14th April, 1865 in the Ford’s Theatre by the primary perpetrator, “John Wilkes Booth with a “Philadelphia Deringer pistol.” The original plot was to abduct the 16th US President just to pressurise the Union government not to abolish the slavery in the southern states and to continue the prisoner exchange program which was closed by the then Union Commander. The original abduct plan was not successful as the President did not go to the play being organised at the “Campbell General Hospital” and a subsequent event of collapse of the Confederate state capital of Virginia falling into the hands of the Union Army. This event triggered the formation of the assassination plan of the 16th US President which was successful on the night of 14th April, 1865. All the criminals were later found and brought to justice. This was one of the most tragic moments of the USA which is even mourned in modern times.
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