At 7:22 a.m., a surgeon general announced that President Abraham Lincoln was dead. This unfortunate news first reached those who waited outside the house as doctors attended to Lincoln. His body was transported in a hearse to the White House at 9:30 a.m where he lay in a coffin wrapped in the American flag. He was escorted by a small cavalry guard while other military officers marched on foot. Police are still in pursuit of President Lincoln’s assassin—John Wilkes Booth.
Before noon, Andrew Johnson, President Lincoln’s vice president, was sworn in as the new President of the United States. Salmon P. Chase, the Chief Justice of the United States, conducted the ceremony.
At noon, President Johnson arranged a meeting at the treasury building to speak with cabinet members. Along with affirming that he’d be making no changes, he also reported on the condition of Secretary of State William Seward, saying that he’d recover but announcing that William Hunter would fill Seward’s shoes while he recovered.
After gathering reporters, police later discovered that there had also been an attempted assassination on Secretary of State William Seward on the same Friday night. A man showed up to Seward’s home claiming to be delivering drugs. After striking Seward’s son, Frederick, the man rushed into Secretary Seward’s room and slit his throat with a knife. Although Seward has sustained serious injuries, he’s expected to live.
Police and witness reports provide a clearer view into what really occurred within the last 24 hours.
It all began after a loud crack disrupted the Ford’s Theatre showing of “Our American Cousin.” Furthering the confusion in the theatre, a suspicious man, later identified as John Wilkes Booth, jumped from the president’s private box, shouting “Sic temper tyrannis!”
Police then transported President Lincoln to a house across the street, allowing doctors to attend to the president’s severe wounds. After a doctor announced that Lincoln was unlikely to recover, his cabinet members joined his family as they anticipated the worst. After a long night, President Lincoln was announced dead in the morning.
Police reports additionally indicated that the attack on Secretary of State William Seward occurred simultaneously, leaving both Seward and his son, Frederick, the Assistant Secretary of State, injured. According to police, the attack begin with a man obscuring his intentions under the guise of delivering medicine to the Seward residence. Frederick answered the door to address the man.
“Give me the medicine and I’ll take it in to my father,” stated Frederick.
The man then struck Frederick with a gun and rushed into Secretary Seward’s room, taking out a knife and slitting his throat. He rushed out of the house, leaving Seward severely injured. Although Seward sustained serous injuries, the blade missed his major arteries, according to police reports.
Although Seward survived the simultaneous attack, Lincoln’s outcome wasn’t at all desired. Andrew Johnson is now preparing for the presidency. President Abraham Lincoln is dead.