Washington DC: Ford’s Theatre and The House Where Lincoln Died

The Ford’s Theater is where Abraham Lincoln was shot. He was pronounced dead later in a house across the street.

At the breakfast, we were told by the owner that The Ford’s Theater is undergoing renovation but we could still visit the House That Lincoln Died in.


Abraham Lincoln is considered as the greatest of all American Presidents. He was the president who led the country through its darkest hour when some southern states wanted to secede from the union and form the CSA (Confederated States of America), triggering the civil war which lasted four long years.

Abraham Lincoln is the 16th President and also the first from the Republican party. He came to power at the time when the Democrats were divided and made it easier for him to win the presidency. He also campaigned against the expansion of slavery and that is what caused the southern states to secede.

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated just a few days after the end of the civil war? History recorded that he was originally targeted to be kidnapped but was later changed to an assassination after Lincoln had made a speech supporting giving voting rights to blacks.

On that fateful night, it was not only the President was targeted for assassination but the plot also included the assassination of the Vice President and the Secretary of State. Both the Vice Presidents and Secretary of State survived the attempts but Abraham Lincoln was shot once in the head while watching a play at the Ford’s Theater.


After he was shot, the people wanted to take him to the hospital but decided against it because the road was too bumpy and they thought they might not survive the ride. It was then someone across the street shouted to bring the president to the house which today is known as the Petersen House … or better known as The House Where Lincoln Died.


The building is now managed by the National Park Service. They opened up the first floor for visitors to see how it was the night Lincoln died.


The above is the front parlor. It is in this room that Mary Lincoln grieved between visits to her dying husband’s bedside. During one of her visits, Mary became hysterical, fainted and fell across his prone body. She was ordered out of the room and prohibited from visiting Lincoln again. It was in this room that Mary waited when Lincoln died.


The back parlor is just adjacent to the front parlor. The man in charge during the night was the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, who directed all functions of the executive branch from this room. It is in this room that Stanton conducted interrogations and directed the manhunt for Booth who escaped after the assassination.

In all sense of the word, this room was the Temporary Seat of Government that night. Stanton summoned all members of Lincoln’s Cabinet to this room and held an emergency Cabinet meeting in which they drafted a letter to inform the Vice President of his imminent Presidency.


This is it … the small room that Lincoln died. Lincoln was in coma for 9 hours before he breathed his last and was pronounced dead. The sad thing was that he was not able to witness the nation reunite after its greatest crisis.


The above is not the original bed where he died. The original is in a Chicago museum (Lincoln originated from Chicago). When I get to Chicago this month, I am going to visit the museum.


It was a short tour. You can just cover this place within 10 minutes easy … it is only three small rooms.


Too bad the Ford’s Theatre will not be opened until February 2009. They are rushing to complete the reno by then because it is the when America will be celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.

We headed to the White House next …

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Steela Castle

    Thanks for the photographs. This is fabulous dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln. It is place where President Lincoln was shot by actor John Wilkes Booth. I went there with my family. The theatre is small but the performance were amazing. Great museum and fabulous artifacts. Many of the sites on the web like http://www.historicalplacesinamerica.com/fords-theater have the collection of good information about this place.

Leave a Reply