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What Was in Abraham Lincoln’s Pockets on April 14, 1865?

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Contents of President Lincoln’s pockets on the night of his assassination. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith.

When Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865, he was carrying the following:

  • Two pairs of spectacles and a lens polisher
  • Pocketknife
  • Watch fob
  • Linen handkerchief
  • Brown leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate note
  • Nine newspaper clippings, including several favorable to the president and his policies.

These items were given to his son, Robert Todd Lincoln, upon Lincoln’s death. Learn more about the items and see them up close in this video.


Comments (3)

  1. One of the real treasures of the Library of Congress. I love looking at this and thinking that Lincoln repaired the glasses with string. It is indeed touching and a lovely connection to the past. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. The beginning of the Civil Right War of 1861 to 1865 makes me think and thank President Abraham Lincohn who made us; OUR Ancestors get free. I as an African American; I wrote a Thesis Title:Copyright Law and Medical Plant Research; Pharmacological and Clinical Research; Ph.D., registered with Copyright Office, Library of Congress. The Academy of Ethnomedical Sciences is registered with White House by President Obama who inspired me. I’m proud of Civil Rights Act of 1964

  3. A five-dollar confederate note was a fortune, then. So was man`s fingers then, it was ten. The man`s fingers are ten till date and constant. But, not the five-dollar confederate note. Thnks

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