One person can have a profound impact upon the world. Although sometimes it's difficult to imagine being able to do much to impact history, sometimes our actions have affects that last well beyond our lifetimes. While some people make a positive impact on the world, some people can leave a strong negative impact. One of these people was John Wilkes Booth, who killed Abraham Lincoln. These are some of the ways that he impacted the world because of his actions.
John Wilkes Booth is most famous for killing the President, Abraham Lincoln. This was one of the biggest tragedies that the United States had seen up to that point. Although other presidents had died in office before this time, nobody had successfully assassinated a president before.
It's hard to imagine, but before Booth killed Abraham Lincoln, anybody that wanted to could walk into the White House. People sometimes even slept in the hallway of the White House in order to be able to get a word with the President. After Booth shot Lincoln, all that access changed. Now, access to the White House is much more limited.
Booth was a Southern sympathizer, so making things more difficult for the South was probably not Booth's intention when he killed Lincoln, but that was what he got. Lincoln wanted to make things easy for the South as the reintegrated into the Union, but after he died, President Andrew Johnson was inaugurated. Johnson didn't have the same motto of "with malice toward none" that Lincoln had, and the Reconstruction period of US history was made more difficult than it otherwise would have been as a result.
John Wilkes Booth was not the only person that was involved in the conspiracy to kill President Lincoln, although he was the ringleader. Most people believe that Booth was shot as he was trying to escape to Mexico (there is a conspiracy theory that says that someone else was killed instead, and that Booth went on to live a long life, discussed in Brad Meltzer's Decoded). Of the two other people that were hanged for being part of the conspiracy, one was Mary Surrat, whose involvement was running an inn and helping provide Booth and his pals with guns; the other was George Atzerodt, who was supposed to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson, but chickened out and got drunk instead.
After Lincoln was killed, the search was on to find Lincoln's killer. When the nearby towns were searched without finding John Wilkes Booth, the search moved into the nearby swamp. Hundreds of men took part in this dangerous part of the search. Searching the swamps was so dangerous, eighty-seven people lost their lives in this part of the search. We do not know what these eighty-seven people would have gone on to do with the rest of their lives if they had not died looking for Lincoln's killer, or how their deaths changed the lives of the family members that they left behind.
Lincoln's death made him an instant martyr. Before his death, Lincoln was one of the most hated presidents ever. After his death, many people found more sympathy for him. If he had not been shot, he would have probably still have been remembered as a great president, but it is possible that he might not have been remembered as one of the best presidents ever.
Very interesting and informative list of 5. Thanks for sharing.
Very interesting list. Thanks for the historical facts. H5
A great list offering insight into a historical figure most tend to overlook.
A very well written list and very informative one as well. Thank you for sharing.
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