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Unanswered Questions about the Lincoln Assassination

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Unanswered Questions about the Lincoln Assassination

Postby Scepcop » 24 Nov 2012, 01:17

I've watched a few documentaries about the Lincoln Assassination. But none of them answer some simple questions.

1. Why did John Wilkes Booth shoot Lincoln in the back of the head and then jump down onto the stage and break his leg and expose himself in full view of everyone in the theatre? Why didn't he just go out the back the way he came and escape that way? Then no one would know to look for him and he would not have broken his leg. This seems illogical and has never been explained as far as I can find in my research. Why has no one even addressed this?

2. Why didn't Lincoln have any security guarding him? Wouldn't it be common sense to protect the President? If the government wouldn't give him any security guards, then why didn't he just hire some? Otherwise, any random person could just walk up to the President of the United States and shoot him? That seems to defy common sense.

3. In the 19th Century, I read, US Presidents tended to walk around in public without guards like normal citizens. Is that really true? If so, then why didn't John Wilkes Booth just hide in the bushes or trees or rooftop and shoot Lincoln like a sniper when he walked around in public?

I assume that long distance shots were possible in the 19th Century, since a British marksman during the American Revolution in the 18th Century said that he could have picked off George Washington with his rifle from the bushes but chose not to for some reason.
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Re: Unanswered Questions about the Lincoln Assassination

Postby Arouet » 24 Nov 2012, 01:33

According to the wiki he jumped on the stage and cried out: "Sic semper tyrannis". It was a political killing. He wanted people to know he had done it and why.
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Re: Unanswered Questions about the Lincoln Assassination

Postby Scepcop » 24 Nov 2012, 01:35

Arouet wrote:According to the wiki he jumped on the stage and cried out: "Sic semper tyrannis". It was a political killing. He wanted people to know he had done it and why.


Then why didn't he just issue a press release the next day? Then he wouldn't have had to break his leg and impair his ability to escape from Federal troops.

I guess he also assumed that after assassinating Lincoln, he would be heralded as a hero and not be arrested?
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Re: Unanswered Questions about the Lincoln Assassination

Postby Arouet » 24 Nov 2012, 01:47

I imagine he didn't anticipate breaking his leg? I don't know. The guy wasn't exactly a paragon of rationality, right?
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Re: Unanswered Questions about the Lincoln Assassination

Postby really? » 24 Nov 2012, 05:56

Scepcop wrote:I've watched a few documentaries about the Lincoln Assassination. But none of them answer some simple questions.

1. Why did John Wilkes Booth shoot Lincoln in the back of the head and then jump down onto the stage and break his leg and expose himself in full view of everyone in the theatre? Why didn't he just go out the back the way he came and escape that way? Then no one would know to look for him and he would not have broken his leg. This seems illogical and has never been explained as far as I can find in my research. Why has no one even addressed this?

2. Why didn't Lincoln have any security guarding him? Wouldn't it be common sense to protect the President? If the government wouldn't give him any security guards, then why didn't he just hire some? Otherwise, any random person could just walk up to the President of the United States and shoot him? That seems to defy common sense.

3. In the 19th Century, I read, US Presidents tended to walk around in public without guards like normal citizens. Is that really true? If so, then why didn't John Wilkes Booth just hide in the bushes or trees or rooftop and shoot Lincoln like a sniper when he walked around in public?

I assume that long distance shots were possible in the 19th Century, since a British marksman during the American Revolution in the 18th Century said that he could have picked off George Washington with his rifle from the bushes but chose not to for some reason.



One mistake you are making is looking at this situation from a modern perspective and you are second guessing.
I've heard that it was possible as late as the 1940's to picnic on the WhiteHouse lawn.

Lincoln actually started the Secret service, but they were charged with overseeing counterfeiting of government issued money, not protecting the president.

I've heard that it was possible as late as the 1940's to picnic on the WhiteHouse lawn.

The reason that questions have not been answered is because that information was likely never written down by the conspirators.

P.S. If you are intimating there's more to this historically known conspiracy you would be wrong. It's exceedingly well documented.
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Re: Unanswered Questions about the Lincoln Assassination

Postby samdavis » 21 Mar 2013, 08:34

Note: Killing Lincoln was a conspiracy. Many had a hand in it. Ed Spangler was the scene-shifter working at the theater. Spangler was a Lincoln hater and he was recruited to assist the killers getaway.


Question:

Why didn't he just go out the back the way he came and escape that way?

Answer:

He would have to go by the audience in the balcony. Once the shot was fired, people from the audience tried to get in the hallway door leading to the president's box but Booth put a wood brace on the door keeping them out.

Question:

Why did John Wilkes Booth shoot Lincoln in the back of the head and then jump down onto the stage and break his leg and expose himself in full view of everyone in the theatre?

Answer:

First, Booth didn't break his leg at the theater. There were a thousand people in attendance and not one said he limped or hobbled away. Everyone said he ran out. Booth's horse stumbled in the darkness of night and rolled over Booth's leg, breaking it.

Second, Ed Spangler was going to turn off the gas lights and put the theater in darkness just before 10:15. As the pressure in the gas lines was reduced by the burning lamps, the lights would dim and go out. When the lights began to dim, the assassin waiting outside the president's box, would enter and shoot the president. The assassin would then climb down from the balcony and mingle with the crowd in the pitch black theater.
The valve to turn out the lights was enclosed in a box backstage. At around 10:15 a man closed the lid to the valve box and was sitting on the box talking to the stage manager. Spangler couldn't turn off the lights.

10:15 was a critical time because at the same time there was a another killing at the secretary of state's house. Payne was killing Seward. If one assassin killed too soon, the whole town would be alerted, bridges closed, and one of the assassins would be trapped inside the city. When the lights didn't go out at 10:15, Booth couldn't wait any longer. He has to shoot the president with the lights on and escape across the stage in front of everyone.



Question Why didn't Lincoln have any security guarding him?

Lincoln did have a trusted personal guard, a US Marshal named Ward Lamon. To understand the reason for the assassination you must know who was the mastermind behind the assassination: Edwin Stanton, and you must also know of the two important events that happened on April, 11, 1865.
Edwin Stanton was the Secretary of War and Lincoln's trusted advisor. He wanted martial law declared over the seceded states where he would then be in a position to confiscate much of the South's wealth. As Lincoln's trusted advisor, Stanton believed he could control Lincoln and for that reason, there was no need to assassinate him. On April 11,1865, Lincoln told the newspapers that the role of the Government was to allow the seceded states to be able to return to the Union with their human, legal, and voting rights intact. On this date Stanton realized that he could not control Lincoln on this issue and that Lincoln needed to be killed.

Also on April 11, Lincoln sent US Marshal Ward Lamon to Richmond on an errand that would take him a week to accomplish. When Stanton learned that Lamon was out of town for a week, he had the perfect opportunity to kill Lincoln. Lincoln was without his person guardian and Stanton began preparation for Lincoln's assassination.
On April 14, Lincoln told Stanton that he wanted the physically powerful Major Eckert to accompany him to the theatre. Stanton told Lincoln that Eckert was needed that night and he could not spare him. So Lincoln went straight to Eckert and asked him if he would accompany him to the theatre. In an act of insubordination, Eckert told the president of the United States 'No'. Eckert told Lincoln that Stanton had work that couldn't wait.
Stanton did find a guard for the president, John Parker was his name. Parker was a policeman and worked at the White House as a guard for the president and the president's staff. He was a drunk and unreliable. While guarding the president at the theatre, an agent working for Stanton asked Parker to come with him and have a drink. Parker accepted and left the president unguarded.
Lincoln was deliberately unguarded, allowing the assassin easy access to the president.

Question 3.

You ask "why didn't John Wilkes Booth just hide in the bushes or trees or rooftop and shoot Lincoln like a sniper".

During the entire course of the war, Booth never planned to kill Lincoln. Booth wanted to kidnap the president and trade Lincoln for Confederate prisoners held by the North. At about 5 p.m. April 14, 1865, five hours before Lincoln's assassination, Booth was talked into killing Lincoln. All the preparations for the assassination were already made by Stanton and all Booth had to do is pull the trigger.

Source: Lincoln, Davis, and Booth: Family Secrets
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Re: Unanswered Questions about the Lincoln Assassination

Postby NinjaPuppy » 22 Mar 2013, 06:52

Welcome!
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