Ford's Theatre to Exhibit Lincoln Artifacts

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March 18, 2015

For the first time in 150 years, visitors to Ford's Theatre can see a large number of artifacts from the night that President Abraham Lincoln was shot.

The Washington, D.C., theatre has sought out items from private and public collections. The result, "Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination," is a nod to the theatre tradition in that the artifacts are presented in the form of four acts.

The first "act" features the carriage that transported Lincoln and his wife, Mary, to the theatre. The Lincolns owned the carriage. Also on display is a playbill, showing the name of the play performed that night, the comedy "Our American Cousin," and a listing of seat prices, ranging from $1 to $10.

"Act 2" includes a violin and drum sticks that were used when the orchestra played "Hail to the Chief" to announce the arrival of the Lincolns, who arrived after the play had begun.

The third "act" contains the Deringer pistol that John Wilkes Booth used to shoot Lincoln and an American flag that was used as a pillow for Lincoln's head.

"Act 4" displays the cloak that Mary Lincoln wore and the great coat that Abraham Lincoln wore, along with his top hat and the contents of his pockets: cufflinks, two sets of glasses, a wallet, and a $5 Confederate note. (He had recently visted Richmond, after that city had surrendered to Union forces near the end of the Civil War.)

The exhibit runs from March 23 to May 25, 2015.

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