Monday, June 26, 2023

The rocking chair that President Lincoln was sitting in when shot at Ford's Theatre.

One of the most interesting relics associated with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln is an old rocking chair that is currently on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Lincoln was seated in this chair at the time of the attack by John Wilkes Booth. When the conspirators were tried, it came into possession of the government along with other items which were exhibited at the trial.
The Chair is displayed in a hermetically sealed, temperature and humidity-controlled room.

Major Henry Rathbone [1], who was in the box with the Lincolns at the time of the shooting, made this statement in his affidavit signed two days after the President's death. When the party entered the box, a cushioned rocking arm-chair was standing at the end of the box, furthest from the stage. ... The President seated himself in this chair, leaving the chair once to put on his overcoat. He remained seated until he was shot.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

[1] Major Henry Rathbone was stabbed in the chest by John Wilkes Booth during the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. Rathbone attempted to stop Booth from escaping and was stabbed in his chest just below his left nipple that, pierced his lung. He survived the attack, but the wound left him permanently disabled.

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