The Hole in the Door at Ford’s Theatre

B. Nash asks: "Who drilled the hole?"

B. Nash asks: "Who drilled the hole?"

DATELINE: April 14, 1865
 
John Wilkes Booth prepares for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He is at Ford’s Theatre observing the rehearsal of “Our American Cousin” for the performance that evening. Because he is known to virtually everyone in the theatre, his place there at that time is not suspect. He makes a visit to Box 7. He knows President Lincoln will be sitting there during the play. He grabs a plank of wood from a music stand to use as a wedge later after shooting Lincoln. He tests the wedge making some adjustments with a knife in the wall so that it fits snugly. Next he produces a small hand drill and makes a hole in the door leading into Box 7. He will use the hole to peek through to make sure Lincoln is in his chair at the time of the planned assassination. Booth stoops down and carefully cleans up the wood shavings so no one will notice the newly drilled hole in the door. Well, at least that’s how some explain the hole in the door.
Frank Ford (of the Ford family who were the owners of the theatre) reported that the hole was already there by April 14, 1865. He claimed it was made so that the President’s guard could “keep an eye” on Lincoln without going through the door and disturbing him. That make sense since the hole itself was three feet from the floor. A guard sitting on a chair would be much more able to use the hole at that height while sitting. If Booth made the hole it would seem to me that he might have made the hole higher up the door so that he could use it while in the standing position. So I ask you dear readers: Who do you think made the hole in the door at Ford’s Theatre? Are you aware of any other explainations?
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2 Responses to “The Hole in the Door at Ford’s Theatre”

  1. B. Nash says:

    Interesting speculation. For more fascinating tid-bits about the assassination please read the book: “Lincoln and Booth” by H. Donald Winkler.

  2. Jack Johncock says:

    To me, Frank Ford’s explanation is suspicious. He gives no specific date or person who made the hole, yet mentions a “guard” as if no one else would make it, and as if no other official but Lincoln would ever use the “State Box.” I would suspect that Frank was in on the conspiracy to kill Lincoln, because he acts defensive – trying to cover-up what he knows.

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