Chasing Lincoln’s Killer Major Character Bios

James L. Swanson

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

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Chasing Lincoln’s Killer Major Character Bios

John Wilkes Booth

The notorious assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. Booth was a young, well-known actor who often worked at Ford’s Theater. He was from a prominent acting family. However, his commitment to slavery and the Confederacy led him to sacrifice his career and life and commit one of the most infamous acts of American history.

Lewis Powell

A former Confederate soldier, Powell was known for his physical strength. He was a dogged follower of Booth for unknown reasons, and allowed himself to be assigned the task of assassinating Secretary of State William Seward. Powell failed at his task, and was seemingly struck by pangs of guilt even in the midst of the attempt.

David Herold

An experienced woodsman, Herold was assigned by Booth to lead Powell to his target. Herold ultimately fled during the commotion of Powell’s attack. He ultimately rejoined Booth and remained with him during their flight. Herold was captured, while Booth was killed.

George Atzerodt

Atzerodt was assigned the task of killing Vice President Andrew Johnson. He took out a room in the same hotel as Johnson, but ultimately fled despite the relative ease of his assignment.

Samuel Mudd

Dr. Mudd harbored Booth, whom he knew from previous encounters. After learning of Booth’s deed, Mudd kept his information from the manhunters. He was the only one of those assisting Booth to be imprisoned for an extended period.

Mary Surratt and John Surratt

Sympathizers of Booth’s. Mary Surratt, owner of a tavern and a separate boarding house, aided Booth without knowing the nature of his plot. She subsequently refused to cooperate with his pursuers. Her son, John, was in New York during the assassination, but was nevertheless initially suspected in the plot. Mary was hanged, and John was not convicted.

Edwin M. Stanton

Secretary of War during the Civil War, Stanton was the man who responded to Lincoln’s killing and directed the apprehension effort. Though he ultimately delegated the manhunt due to his responsibilities in ending the war, his decisiveness seems to have ensured the capture of the conspirators.

Thomas Jones

An expert smuggler for the Confederacy, Jones helped Herold and Booth cross the Potomac into Virginia during the manhunt. This…

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