Newspaper from Apr. 16, 1865

"Arrest of Booth!"

  • Full Title

    "Arrest of Booth!"

  • Description

    An April 16, 1865 edition of the Daily Monitor Extra from Concord, Vermont that falsely reports the arrest of John Wilkes Booth.

  • Transcription

    SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 1865
    Special Dispatches to the Concord Daily Monitor by the American Line and the Vermont and Canada Line.

    Arrangements for Mr. Lincoln’s Funeral.
    President Johnson Retains the old Cabinet.
    Mr. Hunter Secretary of State Pro Tem.
    Mr. Seward & Son Doing Well.
    Wm. Springer Arrested for Complicity with Booth.

    Washington, April 15th. The details of the assassination have already been spread broadcost. All of the evidence which has been elicited during to-day and to-night, point beyond all doubts to John Wilkes Booth as the assassin of the President, and the ringleader in the diabolical plot.

    It has not appeared that he has had more than two accomplices, while their object seems to have been more especially to take the life of the President. In the letters in Booth’s trunk, captured at the National Hotel, one desperado only seems to write of attacking the President, and somewhat deterred Booth to abandon his intention. This demonstrates clearly the matured plot, and disposes entirely of the stories of insanity. It is shown further by the testimony today, that Booth did not assassinate Secretary Seward and son, but left his accomplice to do that work. The theory that he did both deeds by disguising himself, is very effectually exploded. Those who have been thrown into Booth’s company for the past few days describe him as laboring under very strong mental excitement, occasioned by drink and the rejection of his suit by a young lady here, on the ground of his strong secession views.

    Yesterday morning he sauntered into the box office at Ford’s Theatre, and learned incidentally that Gen. Grant and President Lincoln would visit the play last night. From that moment he undoubtedly resolved to commit the assassination that night. From the box office he went to the livery stable in the rear of the National, where at noon he hired a fleet horse.

    At four o’clock he came into the National, took two cards from the clerk that had been left by two suspicious looking men, and calling for paper went behind the clerk’s desk and commenced writing. It was particularly noticed that he had a wild look, and was so absent minded as to ask the clerk in dating his note what hour it was.

    At 6 o’clok [clock] he was promenading leisurely on Pennsylvania Avenue, dressed in his usual genteel manner. At half past seven he was again seen in the restaurant adjoining Ford’s Theatre, where he drank a glass of brandy. From thence he passed into the theatre where he was usually found about 8 o’clock. Soon after nine he went out and brought his horse to the front of the theatre and got Wm. Springler, the carpenter of the theatre, and now under arrest, to hold the animal. Booth was noticed to go into the theatre and pass around into the dress circle to the side on which the President was seated. The aisle next to the wall was crowded, so that he had considerable trouble in pushing his way through to the President’s box. On reaching there he was halted by the sentinel, who is placed there to prevent intrusion on the President. To the sentinel he mentioned the name of some distinguished gentleman who desired to see Mr. Lincoln, and being very neatly dressed was allowed to pass without suspicion.

    The shooting as already detailed by telegraph then occurred.

    Booth mounted his horse and fled, and at this writing, that is the last that has been seen of him. His accomdlice [accomplice] in this terrible crime is not so well known, but is believed to be a notorious Maryland desperado, named Surrat [Surratt].

    WASHINGTON, April 15th—12 M. Up to a late hour no news of the whereabouts of the assassin has been received. Secretary Seward is very comfortable to-night. It is not believed that Fred. Seward will live till daylight. The New York train was allowed to bring in its passengers to-night.

    About 11 o’clock on Friday evening two men crossed the Anacosta [Anacostia] Bridge, one of whom gave his name as Booth, and the other as Smith. The latter is said to be Surrat. A riderless horse was found last night, which has been identified by the proprietor of one of the stables as having been hired from his stable. To-day no one will be allowed to leave the city by rail conveyance or on foot, and the issue of papers from headpuarters [headquarters] of the Department of Washington has been suspended by Gen. Augur. It is understood that the intelligence of the death of the President has not been communicated to Secretary Seward, nor of the attack on his son, his critical condition rendering perfect quiet essential to his recovery.

    1 A.M.—Secretary Seward was in apparently a comfortable condition. His son Frederick remains insensible, with less favorable symptoms than his father.

    Secretary Seward retains his full mental faculties. He to-night was made aware of the death of the President. A strong military guard has been placed around the residence of the several Cabinet officers and around the Executive Mansion.

    At midnight the condition of Secretary Seward was the same as last reported. The day of the funeral of the President has not yet been fixed. The remains will be removed to Springfield, Ill. The coffin for the President’s remains is covered with black cloth, and lined with lead, the latter being covered with white satin. A silver plate on the coffin, over the breast, bears the following inscription:
    16th President of the United States.
    Born July 12, 1809. Died April 15, 1865.”

    The remains have been embalmed. The external appearance of the face of the President was that of a deep black stain about both eyes; otherwise the face was very natural. The wound was in the left side of the head, behind the left ear. The course of the ball was obliquely forward, towards the right eye. The ball was found embedded five inches behind the right eye. The wound was half an inch in diameter.

    It is said that the funeral of the President will take place on Thursday, in order to enable distant friends to arrive.

    Official from Sec’y Stanton.
    [By Vermont and Boston Telegraph Line—Office at the Depot.]
    WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, 15.
    To Maj. Gen. Dix:

    The official notice of the death of the late President Abraham Lincoln, was given by the heads of the departments this morning to Andrew Johnson, Vice President, upon whom by the Constitution devolved the office of President. Mr. Johnson, on receiving this notice, appeared before Chief Justice Chase and took the oath of office as President of the United States, and assumed its duties and functions. At 12 o’clock the President met the heads of the departments in a cabinet meeting at the Treasury building, and among other business the following was transacted: 1. The funeral of the late President was referred to the several secretaries, as far as relates to their respective departments. 2. William Hunter was appointed Acting Secretary of State during the disability of Mr. Seward, and his son Frederick Seward, the Assistant Secretary. 3. The President formally announced that he desired to retain the present secretaries of the departments for his cabinet, and they would go on and discharge their respective duties in the same manner as before the deplorable even[t] that had changed the head of the government.

    All business in the departments was suspended during the day. The surgeons report that Mr. Seward’s condition remains unchanged. He is doing well. There is no improvement in Mr. Frederick Seward. The murderers have not yet been apprehended.


    A dispatch received from Baltimore at 10 o'clock A.M., states that Booth has been arrested near Baltimore and is now confined on board of a Monitor for safe keeping. This dispatch seems to be entitled to credit though not yet officially confirmed. His accomplice is still at large.

    [Special to the Sunday Herald.]

    WASHINGTON, April 15, 1:30 P. M.—The President is lying in state at the White House. No one is allowed to approach within two squares, except privileged persons. The man, William Springer [Edman Spangler], who held Booth’s horse at the door of Ford’s Theatre, has been arrested. The clerks at the National Hotel, where Booth boarded until last evening, state that two very suspicious persons called for him yesterday, and that in the evening all suddenly disappeared. A sentinel was placed in the passage-way to the private box occupied by the President before the performance commenced. Booth passed this sentry by giving the name of some Governor. These facts are arrived at from an authentic source, and evidence seems strong that Booth is after all the man who assassinated Secretary Seward.

    No further telegraphic dispatches will be received in this city before 5 o’clock th [this] afternoon. Ahything [anything] received at that hour will be promptly bulletined at this office.

    At the Episcopal church this morning prayers were read for the nation in its deep affliction, and the usual Easter festivities were deferred.

    [Transcription by: Deborah Taylor]

  • Source

    Library of Congress, Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana, portfolio 3, no. 9, Stern catalog 4754

  • Rights

    This item is in the public domain and may be reproduced and used for any purpose, including research, teaching, private study, publication, broadcast or commercial use, with proper citation and attribution

  • Tags

  • Cite this Item

    Daily Monitor Extra. ""Arrest of Booth!"". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed August 12, 2022.