The Lincoln Assassination

One of the more interesting moments in history to me is The Lincoln Assassination. It’s kind of been stuck in my brain since I visited John Wilkes Booth’s grave.

Well, I’m tooling around the internet this morning and I find a news story on Yahoo regarding how modern doctors think Lincoln would have survived had he been shot in the same place today.

If Lincoln had survived, American history would probably have changed dramatically. Would Andrew Jackson still become president? Would the South find a way to rise again? Would there be repeated attempts to kill Lincoln during his recovery?

I wonder if Lincoln was wounded and weakened if it would have changed how the war ended. Lincoln became a martyr and, though the war was technically over, members of the south still wanted to fight. I wonder if a wounded and weak Lincoln (whether in office or not) would have spurred the south to fight on.

What do you think?


  1. The war was essentially over when Lincoln was shot. The real question is how conciliatory the North would have been. Reconstruction seems to be the model for how Bush wants to run post-Saddam Iraq. Had Lincoln lived, the reintegration of the South into the Union would likely have gone more smoothly. Grant probably would have been president four years sooner and not saddled with the political hacks he had for a cabinet when he became president in 1872.

    But then you have to think of the deaths of Garfield only 15 years later and McKinley at the end of the century. In an era where the president could still walk down the street unrecognized (Grant liked to chat with detractors in hotel lobbies, letting them rant unknowingly at the man they despised), Garfield and McKinley were felled not by conspirators but by pure, simple whackjobs.

    My $.02.

  2. Yeah, the war was essentially over when Lincoln was shot. At the same time, Jefferson Davis was on the run and wanted to keep fighting. Which is why I wondered what would happen with a weakened Lincoln as opposed to the lenient North that came along. It would have been interesting, I’d imagine.

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