The Life, Public Services and State Papers of Abraham Lincoln

By Henry J. Raymond

Reports, Dispatches, and Proclamations Relating to the Assassination

Secretary Stanton to General Dix



Major-General DIX, New York:

This evening, at about 9.30 P. M., at Ford's Theatre, the President,  while sitting in his private box with Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Harris, and Major  Rathburn, was shot by an assassin, who suddenly entered the box and  approached behind the President.

The assassin then leaped upon the stage, brandishing a large dagger or  knife, and made his escape in the rear of the theatre.

The pistol-ball entered the back of the President's head and penetrated  nearly through the head. The wound is mortal.

The President has been insensible ever since it was inflicted, and is now  dying.

About the same hour an assassin, whether the same or not, entered Mr.  Seward's apartments, and, under pretence of having a prescription, was  shown to the Secretary's sick chamber. The assassin immediately rushed  to the bed and inflicted two or three stabs on the throat and two on the face.

It is hoped the wounds may not be mortal. My apprehension is that  they will prove fatal.

The nurse alarmed Mr. Frederick Seward, who was in an adjoining  room, and he hastened to the door of his father's room, when he met the  assassin, who inflicted upon him one or more dangerous wounds. The  recovery of Frederick Seward is doubtful.

It is not probable that the President will live through the night.

General Grant and wife were advertised to be at the theatre this even ing, but he started to Burlington at six o'clock this evening.

At a Cabinet meeting, at which General Grant was present, the subject  of the state of the country and the prospect of a speedy peace were dis cussed. The President was very cheerful and hopeful, and spoke very  kindly of General Lee and others of the Confederacy, and of the establish ment of government in Virginia.

All the members of the Cabinet, except Mr. Seward, are now in attend ance upon the President.

I have seen Mr. Seward, but he and Frederick were both unconscious.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


Major-General DIX, New York:

The President still breathes, but is quite insensible, as he has been ever  since he was shot. He evidently did not see the person who shot him,  but was looking on the stage, as he was approached from behind.

Mr. Seward has rallied, and it is hoped he may live.

Frederick Seward's condition is very critical.

The attendant who was present was shot through the lungs, and is not  expected to live.

The wounds of Major Seward are not serious.

Investigation strongly indicates J. Wilkes Booth as the assassin of the  President. Whether it was the same or a different person that attempted  to murder Mr. Seward remains in doubt.

Chief-Justice Carter is engaged in taking the evidence.

Every exertion has been made to prevent the escape of the murderer.  His horse has been found on the road near Washington.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


Major-General DIX:

The President continues insensible, and is sinking.

Secretary Seward remains without change.

Frederick Seward's skull is fractured in two places, besides a severe  cut upon the head. The attendant is still alive, but hopeless. Major  Seward's wounds are not dangerous.

It is now ascertained with reasonable certainty that two assassins were  engaged in the horrible crime--Wilkes Booth being the one that shot the  President, and the other a companion of his, whose name is not known,  but whose description is so clear that he can hardly escape.

It appears, from a letter found in Booth's trunk, that the murder was  planned before the 4th of March, but fell through then because the  accomplice backed out until "Richmond could be heard from."

Booth and his accomplice were at the livery-stable at six o'clock last  evening, and left there with their horses about ten o'clock, or shortly  before that hour.

It would appear that they had for several days been seeking their chance, but for some unknown reason it was not carried into effect until last night.

One of them has evidently made his way to Baltimore; the other has not yet been traced.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


To Major-General DIX, New York:

Abraham Lincoln died this morning at twenty-two minutes after seven o'clock.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.



Book Navigation Title Page Preface Illustrations Memorandum Table of Contents   ► Chapter I.   ► Chapter II.   ► Chapter III.   ► Chapter IV.   ► Chapter V.   ► Chapter VI.   ► Chapter VII.   ► Chapter VIII.   ► Chapter IX.   ► Chapter X.   ► Chapter XI.   ► Chapter XII.   ► Chapter XIII.   ► Chapter XIV.   ► Chapter XV.   ► Chapter XVI.   ► Chapter XVII.   ► Chapter XVIII.   ► Chapter XIX.   ► Chapter XX.   ► Chapter XXI. Anecdotes and Reminiscences of President Lincoln.   ► Mr. Lincoln's Sadness   ► His Favorite Poem   ► His Religious Experience   ► His Sympathy   ► His Humor, Shrewdness, and Sentiment   ► The Emancipation Proclamation Appendix. Letters on Sundry Occasions.   ► To Mr. Lodges, of Kentucky   ► To General Hooker   ► To John B. Fry   ► To Governor Magoffin   ► To Count Gasparin   ► The President and General McClellan   ► Warnings Against Assassination Reports, Dispatches, and Proclamations Relating to the Assassination.   ► Secretary Stanton to General Dix   ► The Death-Bed   ► The Assassins   ► Reward Offered by Secretary Stanton   ► Flight of the Assassins   ► The Conspiracy Organized in Canada   ► Booth Killed. Harold Captured   ► Reward Offered by President Johnson   ► The Funeral Official Announcements   ► Acting Secretary Hunger to Minister Adams   ► Acting Secretary Hunter to his Subordinates   ► Orders from Secretary Stanton and General Grant   ► Orders from Secretary "Welles   ► Order from Secretary McCulloch   ► Order from Postmaster-General Dennison   ► Proclamation by President Johnson of a Day of Humiliation and Mourning.   ► Secretary Stanton to Minister Adams   ► Important Letter from J. Wilkes Booth   ► Indictment of the Conspirators   ► The Finding of the Court