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Presidential Box where Lincoln was shot, Ford's Theater
Presidential Box where Lincoln was shot, Ford's Theater
Resource Typeimage
TitlePresidential Box where Lincoln was shot, Ford's Theater
Coverage / Year1865 to Present
DescriptionThe Presidential Box at Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. looks much the same today as it did on the night of April 14, 1865, when John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln.
InterpretationThe Presidential box was actually two boxes. When notified that the President was coming, the theater removed a partition between them and brought in extra furniture. The upholstered rocking chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot was seized and removed by the War Department. The Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, had it photographed. The chair was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution, but later returned to the Ford family. In 1929 it was purchased by Henry Ford (no relation to John T. Ford, owner of the theater) and is now in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The chair underwent conservation treatment in 1999. Other Lincoln-related items are scattered in numerous locations. The Henry Ford Museum owns the shawl that Lincoln wore on the night of the assassination and a program from the theater dated April 14, 1865. The Smithsonian Institution has Lincoln's hat and suit, the autopsy kit and other items. The Library of Congress has the contents of Lincoln's pockets from the night of April 14, 1865. The Chicago Historical Society owns the bed that Lincoln died in, as well as other pieces of furniture from the room. Other museums have further objects. (This information was provided by the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.) The Chicago Historical Society has a Web site that shows the investigation into the dress reputedly worn by Mary Todd Lincoln to Ford's Theater. The Web site, "Wet With Blood, " can be accessed at
Lesson Plans / ThemesAntebellum Society and the Civil War;
Learning Standards16 History; 14 Political systems
Author or CreatorIllinois Heritage Association;
Subject / KeywordsLincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865; Theatrical productions; Assassinations; Civil War; Booth, John Wilkes, 1838-1865;
Collection PublisherIllinois Heritage Association;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource IdentifierIHA00162
CONTENTdm file name931092542002_IHA00162.jpg
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