LINCOLN ASSASSINATION ARTIFACTS (where to find them)

UPDATED: July 29, 2013: Hi all: Thanks to some great comments and observations from my readers, I’ve made a couple of changes to the article.

TO MY READERS: If you know the location of any artifacts related to the assassination, conspirators and trial, execution, etc. that are not on this list, then please let me know and I will be happy to include your submittal, once confirmed.

Best. Barry

NOTE: The new listings are preceded by the designations (NEW-KSHS) Original Posting: August 3, 2008 – Barry Cauchon

Here is a list of locations where Lincoln Assassination / Aftermath Artifacts can be found in public institutions. Many more remain in private collections which are not listed here. If you know of any items that I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll gladly add them to the list.

1. Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana  http://studebakermuseum.org/

  • Carriage that the Lincoln’s took to Ford’s Theatre on the night of the assassination

2. National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC  http://www.nmhm.washingtondc.museum/

The bullet, the probe and skull fragments from Lincoln's autopsy

The bullet, the probe and skull fragments from Lincoln’s autopsy

  • The ball (bullet) that killed President Lincoln recovered during the autopsy.
  • Skull fragments from Lincoln recovered during the autopsy.
  • The probe used by Dr. Barnes to remove the ball and skull fragments from Lincoln’s injury during the autopsy.
Path of bullet through John Wilkes Booth upper vertibrae

Path of bullet through John Wilkes Booth upper vertibrae

  • John Wilkes Booth’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Cervical (Neck) Vertebrae (showing the path of the bullet that killed him)
  • (NEW RN) – Blood stained cuffs from the lab coat worn by Dr. Edward Curtis (assistant surgeon who, along with Dr. Woodward, performed the autopsy on President Lincoln).

3. Smithsonian Institute – National Museum of American History  http://americanhistory.si.edu/news/factsheet.cfm?key=30&newskey=946

Although not assassination artifacts, here are a pair of cast hands and two plaster Life Masks made from 1st generation molds taken from Lincoln during his life. The original molds were made by two different artists, Leonard Volk and Clark Mills.

Cast hands by Leonard Volk

  • A pair of cast hands and the first Life Mask made in 1860 by Leonard Volk just prior to Lincoln’s nomination for president at the Republican convention.

  • The second was made by Clark Mills on February 11, 1865 just two months prior to Lincoln’s assassination.
Lincoln's Top Hat worn to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865

Lincoln’s Top Hat worn to Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865

  • Lincoln’s Top Hat that he wore to Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.
Drum and drumsticks used at Lincoln's funeral

Drum and drumsticks used at Lincoln’s funeral

  • Drum and drumsticks used during the funeral parades for President Lincoln in late April, 1865

Canvas hood worn by male conspirators during captivity for the Lincoln assassination

  • Canvas hood used to cover the head of one of the seven male conspirators during captivity. On April 25, 1865, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton ordered that the heads of all the conspirator prisoners be convered with a canvas hood. Only an opening in the area of the mouth and nose allowed breathing and eating. The hoods were worn 24 hours a day until June 6, 1865 when Major General John Hartranft, Special Provost Marshal in charge of the prisoners and execution had them removed. He felt that the prisoners were suffering too much because of the hoods. Mary Surratt was not required to wear the hood for fear that public indignation would be strong.

4. Library of Congress, Washington, DC http://www.loc.gov/index.html

Contents of Lincoln's pockets at time of his assassination

Contents of Lincoln’s pockets at time of his assassination (with the exception of the newspaper which was published after the assassination).

  • The contents of Lincoln’s pockets from the night of the assassination. Some of these items include: nine newspaper clippings, a pair of spectacles and a pair of reading glasses and their cases, a lens polisher, a watch fob, a pocket knife, a brown leather wallet containing a Confederate $5.00 note and a linen hankerchief.

  • The playbill from the April 14, 1865 performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre

5. Chicago History Museum  http://www.chicagohistory.org/

Lincoln's Deathbed from the Peterson Home

  • Lincoln’s deathbed originally from the Peterson House located across the street from Ford’s Theatre. Lincoln was so tall, he had to be laid diagnally across this bed to fit
  • Other furniture from the Peterson house includes a rocking chair, bureau, candlestick, engraving, and gas jet
  • Mary Todd Lincoln’s blood-stained cape that she wore on April 14, 1865
  • Padded hood used by one of the male conpirators while in captivity after the assassination

6. Ford’s Theatre, Washington, DC http://www.fordstheatre.org/ or http://www.nps.gov/foth/

Ford's Theatre circa 1860s

Ford’s Theatre circa 1860s

Derringer used to assassinate President Lincoln

  • John Wilkes Booth’s derringer used to shoot President Lincoln
Booth's knife and sheath

Booth’s knife and sheath

  • Booth’s knife and sheath used to stab Major Rathbone on the night of the assassination
John Wilkes Booth's boot

John Wilkes Booth’s boot

  • Booth’s boot and spur
  • Inner door where Booth had carved a small peep hole to see the President prior to assassinating him.
  • Wooden stick used by Booth to wedge the outer door shut to the Presidential Box.
  • The dress coat that Lincoln wore to the theatre that night.
Chair from Presidential Box at Ford's Theatre April 14, 1865

Chair from Presidential Box at Ford’s Theatre April 14, 1865

Dr. Samuel Mudd's medical kit

Dr. Samuel Mudd’s medical kit

  • Dr. Mudd’s medical kit
Booth's compass found on him after his death

Booth’s compass found on him after his death

Booth's Diary written during his 12 days on the run after the assassination

Booth’s Diary written during his 12 days on the run after the assassination

  • John Wilkes Booth Compass and Diary

Wanted Poster

  • Wanted Poster
  •  US Treaury Guards Flag from Presidential Box which Booth’s spur caught on when he jumped to the stage.
U.S Treasury Flag which Booth caught his spur on when jumping from the Presidential box

U.S Treasury Flag on which Booth caught his spur when he jumped from the Presidential box

  • Original Framed portrait of George Washington from the Presidential Box

7. Peterson Home, Washington, DC.  (Note: This is a National Parks Service site across the street from Ford’s Theatre. The Peterson Home does not have it’s own website but here is the NPS site) http://www.nps.gov/foth/

Peterson House across the street from Ford\'s Theatre, Washington DC

  • The house itself is a protected landmark by the National Park Service. It is the place where Lincoln was taken after being shot at Ford’s Theatre (just across the street). Lincoln died at 7:22am on April 15 in the first floor bedroom

10. Kansas State Historical Society http://www.kshs.org/cool3/lincolnplaybill.htm & http://www.kshs.org/cool/gallowssection.htm

 The following two artifacts are currently on display at the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka, KS in an exhibit called Lincoln in Kansas. The show is currently on and runs until July 26, 2009. These two artifacts are normally not on display and have been brought out for this specific exhibition.

Blood-stained playbill from night of the assassination

Blood-stained playbill from night of the assassination. Courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society.

  • Blood splattered playbill fragment picked up by patron at Ford’s Theatre on the night of the assassination.
Gallows section from Lincoln Conspirators

Gallows crossbeam from the Lincoln Conspirators executions. Courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society

  • Section of the gallows crossbeam used to hang the four condemned Lincoln conspirators (Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold and George Atzerodt).
 11. Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan  http://www.thehenryford.org/museum/index.aspx
Rocking Chair (prior to restoration) used by Lincoln on night of the assassination

Rocking Chair (prior to restoration) used by Lincoln on night of the assassination

 12. Historical Society of Quincy and Adams Counties, Illinois  http://www.adamscohistory.org/

Note: These items are not on public display (see video news story link below)

  • Padded hood worn by one of the male Lincoln conspirators during their 2 months in captivity

  • Manicles worn by Lincoln conspirators

  • Keys to the conspirators’ jail cells

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-743969467360523349

13. Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia http://www.collphyphil.org/mutter.asp

  • (NEW-RN) Tissue from John Wilkes Booth cervical vertebrae (originally labeled as part of his thorax)

See   http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln83.html

14. Lincoln Room Museum in the Wills House, Gettysburg, PA. http://willshousegettysburg.com/

  • (NEW-RN) Hair sample from Abraham Lincoln’s autopsy.

15. Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana http://www.in.gov/ism/

  • (NEW-RN) Hair sample from Abraham Lincoln’s autopsy (Note: This item was part of the Lincoln collection obtained from the Lincoln Museum, Ft. Wayne, IN which closed in June/08).

16. Weldon Petz Abraham Lincoln Collection, Plymouth Historical Society & Museum, Plymouth, Michigan  http://www.plymouthhistory.org/lincoln.html

  • (NEW-RN & Dan Parker Plymouth Historical Museum) – Hair sample donated by Surgeon General Barnes family. Hair was culled from Abraham Lincoln’s during the initial exploration of the president’s wound after being shot.

  • Additional assassination artifacts (tbd) 

17. Huntington Library, San Marino, California

  • (NEW-BH) – Lewis Powell’s knife used in the attack on Secretary of State William Seward on April 14, 1865.

—————————————————————–

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

DID YOU KNOW (Part 2) ABRAHAM LINCOLN


As we move closer towards the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12, 2009), I will continue to post unique stories and featurettes on the man, as well as locations where you can visit to see artifacts from his life.

To start the ball rolling, I’ll lead you to another great depository of Lincoln artifacts and history.

1. Did you know… that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois is dedicated to sharing the life of Lincoln and his family to visitors. Displays, exhibits, interactives and many artifacts are part of the museum’s presentation. Visit http://www.alplm.org/museum/museum.html for current information.

For an article written in July, 2007 of the recent acquisition of Lincoln family artifacts by the museum, please link to
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19296033/ .


   Abraham Lincoln’s bloodstained
   gloves and the handkerchief the
   former president carried on the
   night of his death are part the
   Taper Collection acquired
   by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
   Library and Museum.

2. Did you know… that the there is a medical debate that started in the 1960’s about whether Mr Lincoln had Marfan Syndrome. It is an argument that still goes on to this day. According to an article in About.com titled Abraham Lincoln and Marfan Syndrome the story suggests that  “The diagnosis was based on physical observations of Lincoln: the fact that he was much taller than most men of his day, with long limbs, an abnormally-shaped chest, and loose (lax) joints (based on written descriptions).

What is Marfan syndrome?
Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder of connective tissue, although about one-quarter of all cases occur without any family history of the syndrome.

It affects both men and women of any ethnic background.

Marfan syndrome affects many parts of the body, including:

  • Heart – The main artery which carries blood away from the heart, the aorta, is weak and fragile, and can tear or burst if left untreated. The heart’s mitral valve can also leak or fail.
  • Bones and joints – People with Marfan syndrome tend to have long limbs and are usually, but not always, tall. The syndrome can also cause spine problems, abnormally-shaped chest, and loose joints.
  • Eyes – The syndrome often causes nearsightedness, and about 50% of the time dislocation of the lens of the eye.

Note: Lincoln also had a droopy right eye.

To view the whole story, link to http://rarediseases.about.com/cs/marfansyndrome/a/092402.htm 

3. Did you know… David Herold, who was one of four Lincoln assassination conspirators hung on July 7, 1865, spent 12 days on the run in the company of John Wilkes Booth. When finally cornered in a barn at the Garrett farm in Virginia, Herold gave himself up to Union soldiers while Booth refused to. Booth was eventually shot in the neck, paralyzed and died at the scene. David Herold was tried with seven suspected conspirators, of which he, and three others were sentenced to death by hanging at the Old Arsenel Penitentiary. By the way, David Herold is the third from the left.

4. Did You Know… that the price of tickets for the production of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre the night of the assassination was as follows: Orchestra (main level, chair seating) $1.00, Dress Circle (first balcony, chair seating) $.75, Family Circle (second balcony, bench seating) $.50.

Have a great day.
Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

DID YOU KNOW (Part 1) ABRAHAM LINCOLN


In 2009, we will celebrate the bicentenary (200 years) of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Hardin County, Kentucky. In Lincoln’s own words, written five months before the Republican party nomination, he wrote…   
“I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families–second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks…. My father … removed from Kentucky to … Indiana, in my eighth year…. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up…. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher … but that was all.”
 (see Biography of Abraham Lincoln
http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/al16.html
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS:

1. Did you know . . . that the following Lincoln based artifacts are found at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C.  
Lincoln bullet, skull fragments & probe
 
 The ball (bullet) that killed President Lincoln recovered during the autopsy.

Skull fragments from Lincoln recovered during the autopsy.

The probe used by Dr. Barnes to remove the ball and skull fragments from Lincoln’s injury during his autopsy.

John Wilkes Booth’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Cervical (Neck) Vertebrae (showing the path of the bullet that killed him).

  Booths 3rd, 4th & 5th vertibrae with path of bullet

http://nmhm.washingtondc.museum/explore/anatifacts/6_booth.html

2. Did you know . . .  that Lincoln had two Life Masks made of his face (and one set of his hands). One mask was made in 1860 by Leonard Volk just prior to Lincoln’s nomination for President and the other was made by Clark Mills on February 11, 1865 just two months prior to his assassination. 

 Although many websites discuss these two life masks, the write up on the Smithsonian Institute’s website is of interest. http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/travpres/lincs.htm 

 

“Comparing this mask with the one done in 1860 by Leonard Volk, it is clear how great a toll the Civil War had taken on Lincoln’s health. One friend who saw him a few weeks after the mask was made noted that he “looked badly and felt badly.” To another friend Lincoln confided, “I am very unwell.”

3. Did you know . . . that the contents of Lincoln’s pockets from the night of the assassination are housed at the Library of Congress. Some of these items included newspaper clippings, spectacle and reading glasses and their cases, a pocket knife and even a Confederate five dollar bill. 
 
  
4. Did you know . . . The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois houses many exhibits, photographs and artifacts.  

http://www.illinoishistory.gov/lib/lincolncoll.htm 

Best
Barry 
 

outreach@awesometalks.com 

 

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-