John Wilkes Booth Facts

John Wilkes Booth Facts
John Wilkes Booth was a well-known American actor who became even more well-known after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. He was born on May 10, 1838, near Bel Air, Maryland, to actors Junius Brutus Booth and Mary Ann Holmes. He was the ninth of ten children born to the couple. John was a popular child and talented at fencing and horsemanship. He attended Bel Air Academy, then the Milton Boarding School for Boys, where students studied classical works. Later he attended St. Timothy's Hall which was a military academy. His father died when he was 14 and John quit school. By 16 John had developed an interest in theatre and politics. John made his debut on stage when he was 17.
Interesting John Wilkes Booth Facts:
John Wilkes Booth had his fortune told when he was attending the Milton Boarding School. The fortune-teller predicted he would have a grand life but also a short one and would meet a 'bad end'.
John's brother Edwin would also become an actor.
John was a supporter of the South and Civil War, which was unlike the rest of his family. He believed in slavery which supporters of the North did not.
In 1859 John Wilkes Booth attended John Brown's execution. John Brown was a famous abolitionist.
In 1863 John developed a breathing issue and stopped performing on stage for a while.
During his hiatus from performing on stage John Wilkes Booth began to devise a plan to kidnap the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and take him to Richmond to use in exchange for the release of several Confederate prisoners.
Some believe that John Wilkes Booth may have been acting under his own ideas to kidnap Lincoln but others believe it was his own plan from the beginning.
John Wilkes Booth enlisted the help of 6 other southern supporters to kidnap Lincoln.
Lincoln failed to appear near Washington, D.C and the plan was never executed.
John became angry at the failed plan and it is believed this fuelled his desire to assassinate Lincoln.
John Wilkes Booth learned that Abraham Lincoln was scheduled to attend a performance of Our American Cousin in Washington, D.C. on April 14th at the Ford Theatre.
The afternoon of the performance John went to the theatre and rigged the door of the private box meant for the president.
At 10:00pm John Wilkes Booth entered the box and shot and killed Abraham Lincoln.
The plan was to also kill Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward but the other members of John's gang did not follow through.
John jumped to the stage after shooting and killing Lincoln, breaking a leg. This slowed his ability to escape.
John south medical treatment from Samuel Mudd.
After finally crossing the Potomac River with another gang member, they were found in a barn on April 26th.
After refusing to give up, a shot was fired, killing Booth. It is still unclear if he committed suicide or was shot.

Related Links:
Biography Facts
Animals Facts