The Unintended Irony of the Lincoln Assassination


Lincoln Statue at Lincoln Memorial University

Lincoln Statue at Lincoln Memorial University






I posted a thread on the Lincoln Discussion Symposium earlier this year on the subject of the above title. My thoughts were (and remain so still)-that John Wilkes Booth had surely not intended for Abraham Lincoln to be thrust into secular sainthood upon his death. Booth assassinated Lincoln on Good Friday that April evening of 1865.  Although he had been planning to do something- (if not assassinate)-some say that the actual date that Booth shot Lincoln was a spur of the moment thing because he had learned earlier that day that the president would be attending the theater. So there may be the possibility that Booth didn’t realize that April 14th that year was Good Friday. In the end, the timing of the murder was such that Lincoln was compared to Christ. Sermons that following Sunday were filled with such comparisons all over the land. And while Booth was on the run, he had read some newspapers that were brought to him in hiding. He was stunned that he wasn’t being held as a hero. Media accounts that he had read for years about Lincoln were filled with hate for the president. He thought for sure that he would be hailed in honor. Even his beloved southern newspapers denounced his deed. Maybe it’s a good thing he didn’t live to see how his action had lifted Lincoln to heights of glory that no American politician had achieved-and that elevation was the unintended irony of the Lincoln assassination.

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3 Responses to “The Unintended Irony of the Lincoln Assassination”

  1. Dave Wiegers says:

    I guess I need to get my book out. Here is a link to it.

  2. B. Nash says:

    Hi Dave: We did not. I didn’t know about it!

  3. Dave Wiegers says:

    Bill, did you see the other statue of Lincoln on the campus? Nice statue of Lincoln as a lawyer.

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