Assassins, Conspiracy & Theater: Lincoln's Last Days & the Plot to Overthrow the Union

Washington, D.C.

  • "Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, 1865," on a hand-colored lithograph on paper by Currier & Ives Lithography Company.
  • The Mary Surratt Boarding House as it originally looked.  Photo: Library of Congress.
  • Mary Surratt
  • John Wilkes Booth as photographed by Alexander Gardner in 1863.
  • Postcard of The National Hotel, circa 1910.
  • Co-conspirator George Atzerod.
  • Drawing of the Kirkwood House hotel.
  • Union soldiers on the South Lawn of the White House circa 1861.
  • President Lincoln in his office at the White House in 1863.
  • St. John's Church in 1918.
  • The Presidential Pew, #54.  Photo: Jonathunder.
  • Lewis Powell in handcuffs after his arrest on April 17, 1865.
  • The Seward House at 17 Madison Place in Lafayette Square.
  • Lithograph of Booth jumping out of the President's box at Ford's Theater.  Note Booth's leg caught in the drapes.
  • Ford's Theater in 1870.
  • Lithograph titled, "Lincoln's Last Hour." He is surrounded by his cabinet and not Mary Todd Lincoln.
  • Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper depicts Booth's escape from Baptist Alley.
  • The rear of Ford's Theater.  Today most of the windows are bricked up.

3 hours
2.7 mi
Guided by Kevin
Kevin Lynch


On what was supposed to be an evening of comedy and theater exploded into a tragedy and three-part attempt to overthrow the US Government. Cloaked in mystery, treason and conspiracy, the assassination of President Lincoln shook the country to its core. Journey back to 1865 to meet the characters and follow in the footsteps of the 16th president's final hours. Along the way, we'll visit the headquarters of the Confederate assassins, the sites of the murder attempts and the house in which Lincoln died.

About Your Guide

Chicago born, Minneapolis raised, DC native. Studied political science and creative writing. Enthusiast of historical non-fiction, chocolate chip cookies, crime dramas and gin. Preferably not all at the same time, but I wouldn't say no.

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Guide Points

  1. Mary Surratt's Boarding House

    Welcome to Wok & Roll, perhaps the only karaoke bar on the National Register of Historic Places.

  2. The National Hotel

    The National Hotel no longer exists, but since we are here, why not head into the lobby of the Newseum to briefly find a bench or use the r…

  3. The Kirkwood House Hotel

    On this site in 1865 stood the Kirkwood House, a first-class, five-story hotel. Clearly, it no longer exists.

  4. The White House

    We make a quick stop at the White House not just to introduce Abraham Lincoln, but to demonstrate the proximity of the events surrounding t…

  5. St. John's Episcopal Church

    When Lincoln took office in 1861, this was known as "The Church of the Presidents" due to its proximity to the White House. Ever since Pres…

  6. William Seward's House

    William Seward served as Lincoln's Secretary of State and lived in a house that stood here on the eastern side of Lafayette Park. It was i…

  7. Ford's Theater

    The morning of April 14, 1865, Booth learned that President and Mrs. Lincoln would attend that night's performance of the comedy, _Our Amer…

  8. Petersen Boarding House

    After the gunfire, doctors in the audience rushed to Lincoln's theater box to examine the president.

  9. (Optional) Baptist Alley

    We're heading into a back alley. As one should do whenever walking in an urban area, keep your wits about you.

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