Chasing Lincoln’s Killer Important Quotes

James L. Swanson

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

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Chasing Lincoln’s Killer Important Quotes

1. “As Lincoln spoke, Mrs. Lincoln’s dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley, a free black woman, standing a few steps from the president, remarked that the lamplight made him ‘stand out boldly in the darkness.’ The perfect target” (7-8).

2. “Twenty-six years old, impossibly vain, an extremely talented actor, and a star member of a celebrated theatrical family, John Wilkes Booth was willing to throw away fame, wealth, and a promising future for the cause of the Confederacy” (10).

3. “If he was serious about assassinating Lincoln, all he had to do was stroll over to the Executive Mansion, announce that the famous actor John Wilkes Booth wished to see the president, await his turn—which nearly always resulted in a private talk with Lincoln—and then shoot Lincoln at his desk” (26).

4. “None of Booth’s conspirators knew it, but Booth had already implicated all of them! He entrusted a sealed envelope to a friend and fellow actor, who was to see that the letter it contained was published tomorrow in the newspaper. In the letter, not only did Booth justify the triple assassination, but he signed his henchmen’s names to the document as well, sealing their fates” (27-28).

5. “At this supreme moment, the people cheered the man who, after a shaky start in office, learned how to command armies, brought down slavery, and became a most eloquent and moving speaker. And as he promised he would, he saved the Union. Lincoln stood in the box and bowed to the audience” (31).

6. “The comic line spoken by Harry Hawk, ‘You sockdologizing old mantrap,’ was followed by an explosion of laughter from the audience. The black powder charge exploded and spit the bullet toward Lincoln’s head” (39).

7. “Cox helped them decide on their next move. He told Booth there was only one man who could get them safely across the Potomac River. That man was Thomas Jones” (74).

8. “At the Executive Mansion, the soldiers carried the body in its temporary coffin to the second floor for an autopsy. Cutting open Abraham Lincoln’s brain and body served little scientific purpose. The surgeons already knew what had killed him—a single bullet through the brain. They hid their…

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