Conspiracy Theories on Lincoln

By: Kayla Tuck

Did John Wilkes Booth shoot Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, or was he a tool in a much larger conspiracy? Who may or may not been involved with Booth, during the event? Here will be a few conspiracy theories.

Theory #1
Andrew Johnson Was Involved With Booth

Seven hours before the Lincoln was shot, Booth had dropped by the Washington hotel where Vice-President Andrew Johnson was staying. Andrew Johnson wasn't at home neither was his private secretary William A. Browning. Since, neither of them were there, Booth wrote a note that said, "Don;t wish to disturb you Are you at home? J. Wilkes Booth." Lincoln was shot at 10:15 P.M. and Browning had testified before the military court that he had found the note later that afternoon in his box. People may ask did Booth and Johnson know each other? They had to. They did, they had met in Nashville in February, year of 1864. Author Hamilton Howard also made the claim that Booth and Johnson kept a couple of sisters as mistresses and oftentimes were seen in each other's company. "...that, that miserable inebriate Johnson, had cognizance of my husband's death - Why, was that card of Booth's, found in his box, some acquaintance certainly existed - I have been deeply impressed, with the harrowing thought, that he, had an understanding with the conspirators and they knew their man... As sure, as you and I live, Johnson, had some hand, in all this..."Mary Todd Lincoln to her friend, Sally Orne, in a letter dated March 15, 1866.  

Theory #2
Lincoln Died By Way Of A Simple Conspiracy Organized By John Wilkes Booth

This theory talks about how John Wilkes Booth is the originator of the plot and all of the other remaining conspirators, with only one exception of John Surratt, who was either hanged or sent to prison in Ft. Jefferson. There's some books that support this theory. The books are Clara Laughlin's The Death of Lincoln: The Story of Booth's Plot, His Deed, and the Penalty, David M. DeWitt's The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and Its Expiation, and George S. Bryan's The Great American Myth.  The conspiracy theory talks about how Booth is a Southern patriot and is racist who originally planned to kidnap the president, and take him to Richmond. When he gets to Richmond hold him in exchange for Southern prisoners of war. Booth wanted to assassinate Lincoln in revenge of his kidnapping plan failed. In this plot John Wilkes Booth is the leader of co-conspirators.


  • Conspiracy Theory: The Lincoln Assassination. (2010, February 6). Retrieved March 27, 2015, from

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