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Fifty-six year old President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by the misguided and murderous thespian, John Wilkes Booth, at Ford’s Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. in the Peterson House across the street from the theatre.

The , however, managed to print a relatively crude woodcut image of Booth on the front page of its April 17th edition (below). At that same time and place, Booth’s sole get-away compatriot, David E. While on the run after the assassination of Lincoln, Booth wrote a rambling entry in his small calendar day book under the date of April 21, apparently averring that the 22 year-old Herold was a pious “brave boy:” “after being hunted like a dog … every man’s hand [was] against me [and] I am here in despair …

That drawing appears to have been based upon a horizontally flipped version of a Booth photo represented in the Library of Congress collection (also below): On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth — who also had masterminded Lewis Powell’s nearly fatal attack on Secretary of State Seward and George Atzerodt’s aborted scheme to murder Vice President Johnson — was hunted down and killed by Federal cavalrymen on Richard H. Before he was shot dead, Booth would have been displeased to learn that members of the 22nd U. A country that groaned beneath [Lincoln’s] tyranny and prayed for this end and yet now behold the cold hand they extend to me …

And it is with [God] to damn or bless me [a]nd this brave boy with me who often prays (yes before and since) with a true and sincere heart …., was able to publish either stories about Lincoln’s assassination or relevant images when each went to press for its April 15 and April 22 publications.

Even with a team of engravers working on individual square sections of an illustration, it took probably utilized some variant of the photo below, right (both courtesy of the Library of Congress).

The 26 year-old Booth had posed for many photographs during his lifetime in several different cities.

The illustrations in To honor and memorialize the loss of “Father Abraham,” the cover of Harper’s next edition on May 6, 1865 featured a large engraving of a bespectacled Lincoln seated in a chair with his youngest son, Tad, standing directly by his side. An 1865 copyrighted version by Berger reveals that he supplied to a retouched photo to make it appear (a) as if it had been taken at the White House rather than Brady’s studio and (b) that the President was reading Bible passages to his youngest son.

This paternalistic image was derived from a photograph taken by Anthony Berger on February 9, 1864 when Berger managed Mathew Brady’s Washington, D. The “book” perched on Lincoln’s crossed leg actually was a photograph album handed to Lincoln in the studio in order to grab Tad’s rapt attention.

Even the chair was modified by the placement of fringe dangling from its arm and some sort of fabric draped on its slightly straightened back.

likely received a copy of Anthony Berger’s photograph of Lincoln within a few days after Lincoln’s death in order to have the necessary two week lead time required for an engraving of it to appear on its May 6th cover.

But erroneously credited “Brady” as the photographer in the caption beneath the image (see above).

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