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Booth's Escape Route

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, April 15, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1CV036
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This online program is presented on Zoom.
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John Wilkes Booth (RubenVanKuik–Colourisation)

On the night of April 14, 1865, actor John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln in a crowded theater and disappeared into the night. For 12 days he remained at large in the storm of confusion, fear, and anger that his crime had created. Finally, pursuing troops found him hiding in a barn in the dead of night and killed him, ending one of history’s most dramatic episodes and setting in motion one of its most persistent waves of rumor and speculation.

Historian Michael W. Kauffman leads a talk that retraces Booth’s escape route and reveals the personalities and intrigues surrounding the Lincoln assassination. The story begins at a packed Ford’s Theatre and follows the infamous assassin through the streets of Washington into Southern Maryland and across the Potomac River into Virginia. Kauffman chronicles Booth’s journey, which covered roughly 100 miles, pausing to discuss the cases of Mary Surratt, who was hanged for her involvement; Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, who treated the leg fracture Booth sustained during his escape; and others who figured into the story or whose lives were swept along in the wake of Booth’s flight.

Kauffman is the author of American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies and In the Footsteps of an Assassin and led bus tours tracing Booth’s escape route for more than 40 years.

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