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.

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Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

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MUSEUM ITEMS IN THE NEWS (July 2008)

Here are three stories in the news from the Museum world. Enjoy.

1. Washington D.C. – THE SMITHSONIAN’S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY

July 30, 2008 – The National Museum of American History, which has been closed for a two year, $85 million renovation, confirmed that it will reopen its doors on November 21, 2008. Highlights in the rejuvenated museum will include a brand new gallery for the almost 200 year old Star-Spangled Banner and will display the White House copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

To read the press release, go to:

http://americanhistory.si.edu/news/pressrelease.cfm?key=29&newskey=764

2. Augusta, Georgia – AUGUSTA MUSEUM OF HISTORY

July 30, 2008 – The Augusta Museum of History has announced a wonderful promotion called Dollar Dog Days of Summer. From August 1 – 31 admission to the museum will cost just $1.00. Since May, the museum has presented the popular exhibit “The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown”. Recently they opened a second major exhibit entitled “From Ty to Cal: A Century of Baseball in Augusta.”

Dollar Dog Days
Augusta Museum of History
Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Ezekiel Harris House
Sat., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
By appointment Tue.-Fri.
706-722-8454
$1 dollar admission, Aug. 1-31
augustamuseum.org

To read the press release, go to:

http://www.metrospirit.com/index.php?cat=121304064644348&z_Issue_ID=11012207083546514&ShowArchiveArticle_ID=11022907083157775&Year=2008

3. Decatur, Georgia – GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Occasionally a story comes out that is both strange and funny at the same time. A small museum called the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Decatur, Georgia is displaying the “Monkey from Mars”, which was part of a UFO hoax in 1953. According to the story, on July 8, 1953 three guys (two barbers and a butcher) took a monkey (dead I assume), shaved it’s hair and dyed the body green. Oh yes, they also cut off it’s tail. It was left on the side of a Georgia road with torch burn marks around the body.

A preserved monkey is shown on display in the lobby of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab Thursday July 24, 2008. in Decatur, Ga. The shaved monkey was part of a 1953 UFO hoax in rural Cobb County.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

A preserved monkey is shown on display in the lobby of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab Thursday July 24, 2008. in Decatur, Ga. The shaved monkey was part of a 1953 UFO hoax in rural Cobb County. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

According to article linked below,

“The barbers, Edward Watters and Tom Wilson, and the butcher, Arnold “Buddy” Payne, told the policeman they came upon a red, saucer-shaped object in the road that night. They said several 2-foot-tall creatures were scurrying about and the trio hit one with their pickup before the other creatures jumped back in the saucer and blasted skyward — leaving the highway scorched.”

The hoax was quickly discovered and poor Mr. Watters (as creative as he had been) was fined $40.00 for obstructing a highway.

In 1953, UFO hysteria was everywhere, so this allowed the hoax to be as believable as it was back then. Funny but true.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iKHC0ZZ4jtpYhxoUItN3l38i2SOgD927RRV01

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

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 

 

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

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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)

 

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BARRY CAUCHON & AWESOMETALKS

INTRODUCTION

IMG_2846.1

Barry Cauchon is a professional speaker and Senior Project Manager working in the corporate, museum and touring exhibit industries since 1996. In 2004-2005, he was the Senior Project Manager for the touring exhibits “Diana: A Celebration” and “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”; the renowned King Tut tour!

As a professional speaker, Barry brings his enthusiasm for history along with his own personal experiences from “behind the scenes”, to educational and professional organizations, sharing some of the ‘best practices’ from around the globe.

He is a champion of museum and corporate outreach programs and is presently developing, partly through this blog, a network of museums, schools, corporations, and other groups interested in sharing their expertise to the betterment of student education.

Barry takes this approach when speaking at high schools and colleges. His program “A Little Touch of History” is a lively, in-class presentation, where students are treated to a unique history lesson from a well known, major event and then allowed to interact with related artifacts. By allowing the students to physically ‘touch’ an actual piece of history, a personal attachment to the event is created. Barry writes:
“Thank you for joining me at AWESOMETALKS. As you can see, my career has blessed me with many amazing opportunities to ‘touch’ history and go behind the scenes where most people would never be allowed. It’s been fantastic and still continues to be. So this year I began thinking of ways to share this with others. Other than my own presentations to schools, I want to develop some teaching tools for educators that use some of the best practices from museum and corporate outreach programs around the world. I certainly don’t have all the answers so I encourage professionals and students alike to join me in building this blog and exchanging some really great ideas for our teachers to take into their classrooms. With your assistance, we can share ideas and experiences to benefit everyone.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

Published in: on Thursday, May 22, 2008 at '9:56 pm'  Comments (2)  
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