Negative Effects of the Lincoln Assassination

3130 Words Mar 23rd, 2013 13 Pages
Logan Flanagan
22 March 2013
Negative Effects of the Lincoln Assassination
Soon after President Abraham Lincoln died on Good Friday, April 15, 1865, the fatal bullet with which he was murdered was removed. Dr. Curtis, one of the doctors who performed the procedure, later wrote, “‘There it [the bullet] lay upon the white china, a little black mass no bigger than the end of my finger—dull, motionless and harmless, yet the cause of such mighty changes in the world’s history as we may perhaps never realize’” (Swanson 135). The doctor was correct in his statement that Lincoln’s death would have substantial and far-reaching effects. The assassination of the sixteenth president of the United States of America had many negative results that
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Booth’s family, a well-known family of actors that was famous before the assassination, lost its positive reputation forever. Also, people who knew Booth or were associated with him were persecuted for his wrongdoing. An article from the American Civil War Roundtable of Australia, a conference in Australia for people interested in the Civil War and its aftermath, says that four supposed co-conspirators—Lewis Powell, David Herold, George Atzerodt, and Mary Surratt—were hanged for their part in the assassination plot. Mary Surratt’s sentencing was considered very controversial because some evidence against her was later determined to be erroneous, and her sentence of death shocked the nation. Three men—Sam Arnold, Michael O’Laughlin, and Dr. Samuel Mudd—were given life prison sentences, and another man, Edmen Spangler, was imprisoned for six years (Curry 24). These people were accused of assisting Booth in his assassination plot. While Powell, Herold, Atzerodt, Arnold, and O’Laughlin were actually found guilty in helping Booth in his plot, and Dr. Mudd had aided Booth’s escape, Spangler and Surratt’s participation in the assassination plot or its execution was uncertain; they were tried and punished partially because they were associated with Booth. As a result of Lincoln’s death, Booth’s family and acquaintances were blamed, hated, and persecuted.
The ill effects of, and the blame for,
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