Talk:Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

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Former good article Assassination of Abraham Lincoln was one of the History good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Picture change[edit]

Someone please revert this edit [1], which changed the picture at the top of the page from the first of the pictures below (which is a feature picture here on Wikipedia) to the second (which looks to be a rather unfortunate, poorly mangled Photoshop job).

This file is likely to be the first item seen by any vistors to the page, and we ought to hold ourselves to a higher standard here. I'd revert it myself if the article weren't protected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:304:ab23:5789:9deb:4598:388f:6632 (talkcontribs) 21:55 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Lincoln date of death[edit]

It's widely written that Lincoln died 14 April. But if he died the morning after the shooting, it obviously should be 15 April. Still, I never see his date of death listed as anything but 14 April.....

Yhacrevo44 (talk) 15:23, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Where, specifically, is it "widely written" that he died on 14 April? The assassination occurred on 14 April, but he died on 15 April. That's what our article Abraham Lincoln says, as do all reliable sources. That's 100% of them. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:41, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Lee's Surrender Did Not End the War[edit]

The article as it stands now states that Lee's surrender ended the war. Confederate forces were in the field until June when the last Army surrendered. The page is set so it can't be edited, so someone who is allowed to do so should make the correction. 71.171.89.90 (talk) 14:00, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Did you know Lincoln was smiling after he was shot?[edit]

I have posted words from Katherine M. Evans account about Lincoln smiling after he was shot on several articles because I cannot put one on here due to the article being protected. While it may be an unnecessary detail, I just thought it would be good, bittersweet and heartwarming to let readers, especially fans of Lincoln know that Mr. Lincoln actually did hear Hawk's funny line and passed into unconsciousness with laughter and a smile on his face. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.15.135.101 (talk) 16:31, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I would differ on describing Lincoln's facial expression as "smiling after he was shot" and I want to be very specific about the particulars. If one reads the Katherine M. Evans accounts, one realizes a few things:

  • She was not present in the room that Lincoln died in (Petersen's Boarding House), she is asserting that there was a certain expression upon his face immediately before he was shot and that this expression remained (after he was basically brain-dead). The reason I want to be very specific about what Evans is referring to is that there is an assertion persistently added to this article every so often, not based on any eyewitness accounts or any testimony, categorically stating that Lincoln was smiling when he died at Petersen's, and that he somehow retained some measure of consciousness after being shot. So far as I can tell this assertion probably comes from a poem written about Lincoln's death and from mischaracterizing it as an eyewitness account not a fictionalized rendering of a tragic event.
  • So she was referring to Lincoln having a smile on his face in that moment. The play had just had its biggest laugh of the night when one character said "Don't know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal — you sockdologizing old man-trap." (the moment specifically picked by Booth so a gunshot would be less noticeable amidst the audience's laughter).
  • However, some more points to keep in mind is where she was when Lincoln was shot and when these accounts were taken down:
  1. Evans was not actually on the stage when Lincoln was shot and so could not have seen his expression in the moment of his being shot. She was in the theatre's green room (to stage right) waiting to enter later in the play.
  2. She was also not present on the stage when Booth jumped from the Presidential Box to the stage. Her quoted words differ on the particulars as she either describes Laura Keene being onstage alone (July 1910 Grand Haven Tribune interview) or Harry Hawk being on stage alone (April 1915 New York Tribune interview). She describes the events that occurred onstage at Ford's, in its auditorium and the people involved after Booth had jumped down onto the stage. All the accounts I have read do state that Harry Hawk as Asa Trenchard was alone onstage, as he was delivering the sockdologizing line about Laura Keene's character (who had just left).
  3. From what I can tell, her accounts were not contemporaneous to the event but were taken down anywhere from 46 to 50 years later. I have been so far unable to find an Evans account dated closer to the events, when they would have been fresher in her mind.

Evans' accounts are the only ones I have found that refer to Lincoln's expression as it appeared after he was shot. I do not find it beyond the realm of possibility that Lincoln was smiling and/or laughing in the moment preceding his being shot and immediately thereafter lapsing into a coma but physically retaining his last conscious expression. Notwithstanding what I posted above, in my opinion Evan's exact quoted & sourced words could be added within the events' timeline of the article along with attribution, in the last paragraph of the "Booth shoots President Lincoln" section worded something along the lines of:

Katherine M. Evans, a young actress in the play, was offstage when Lincoln was shot but rushed onstage after Booth's exit and said afterwards "I looked and saw President Lincoln unconscious, his head dropping on his breast, his eyes closed, but with a smile upon his face."<ref>{{cite book|title=We Saw Lincoln Shot: One Hundred Eyewitness Accounts (quoting Katherine M. Evans interview from April 1915 ''[[New York Tribune]]'')|date=1995|publisher=University Press of Mississippi|pages=148-149|editor=Timothy S. Good|accessdate=April 18, 2014}}</ref>

Shearonink (talk) 21:03, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm more intrigued by Henry Rathbones statement, albeit, 26 years later, that Booth hissed "I bring blessings to your Union" before Booth shot Lincoln. Of course that can't be proven either. Who knows. However, it is hopeful to think that Lincoln may have been smiling when the shot was fired. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.15.141.7 (talk) 13:18, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Altering of Booth's quoted words[edit]

I just realized. Someone deleted the "N" word from Booth's citizenship line. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.15.135.101 (talk) 21:36, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

That section is a direct quote of what Booth said. Including that word makes it complete, leaving it out makes it incomplete, so I've restored it. Shearonink (talk) 21:52, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
PS - The word is removed on a fairly-regular basis. This most-recent deletion dates from February 2014. Shearonink (talk) 22:00, 18 April 2014 (UTC)