Definitions for john wilkes booth

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Booth, John Wilkes Booth(noun)

    United States actor and assassin of President Lincoln (1838-1865)

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  1. John Wilkes Booth

    John Wilkes Booth was a famous American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known actor. He was also a Confederate sympathizer, vehement in his denunciation of Lincoln, and strongly opposed the abolition of slavery in the United States. Booth and a group of co-conspirators originally plotted to kidnap Lincoln, but later planned to kill him, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William H. Seward in a bid to help the Confederacy's cause. Although Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered four days earlier, Booth believed the American Civil War was not yet over because Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's army was still fighting the Union Army. Of the conspirators, only Booth was completely successful in carrying out his respective part of the plot. Booth shot Lincoln once in the back of the head, and he died the next morning. Seward was severely wounded but recovered. Vice-President Johnson was never attacked at all. Following the assassination, Booth fled on horseback to southern Maryland, eventually making his way to a farm in rural northern Virginia 12 days later, where he was tracked down. Booth's companion gave himself up, but Booth refused and was shot by a Union soldier after the barn in which he was hiding was set ablaze. Eight other conspirators or suspects were tried and convicted, and four were hanged shortly thereafter.

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