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LINCOLN, Abraham, 16th President of the United States (1809-1865). ASSASSINATION BROADSIDE. War Department Washington: 20th April, 1865

LINCOLN, Abraham, 16th President of the United States (1809-1865). ASSASSINATION BROADSIDE. War Department Washington: 20th April, 1865


LINCOLN, Abraham, 16th President of the United States (1809-1865). ASSASSINATION BROADSIDE. War Department Washington: 20th April, 1865


Single sheet, float-mounted and framed (23 x 21 4/8 inches). 

"War Department, Washington, April 20, 1865, / $100,000 REWARD / THE MURDERER / Of our late beloved President, Abraham Lincoln. / IS STILL AT LARGE. / $50,000 REWARD / Will be paid by this Department for his apprehension, in addition to any reward offered by / Municipal Authorities or State Executives. / $25,000 REWARD / Will be paid for the apprehension of G.A. Atzerot, sometimes called "Port Tobacco," one / of Booth's Accomplices. / $25,000 REWARD / Will be paid for the apprehension of David C. Harold, another of Booth's Accomplices./ LIBERAL REWARDS will be paid for any information that shall / conduce to the arrest of either of the above-named criminals, or their / accomplices. / All persons harboring or secreting the said persons, or either of / them, or aiding or assisting their concealment or escape, will be treat- / ed as accomplices in the murder of the President and the attempted / assassination of the Secretary of State, and shall be subject to trial / before a Military Commission and the punishment of DEATH. / Let the stain of innocent blood be removed from the land by the / arrest and punishment of the murderers. / All good citizens are exhorted to aid public justice on this occasion. / Every man should consider his own conscience charge with this / solemn duty, and rest neither night nor day until it be accomplished. / EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War. / DESCRIPTIONS. --- BOOTH is Five Feet 7 or 8 inches high, slender build, high forehead, black hair, black eyes, and / wears a heavy black moustache. / ATZERODT is Five Feet 6 or 7 inches high, has dark short curly hair, and a short thick black moustache. He had a / light goatee, and his whiskers were much thinner on the side of his face. He has a dark skin, and very dark eyes. He / was dressed in a suit of greyish dark color, and wore a gray sack coat and a black kossuth hat. He had common coarse / boots, with pants outside of them, and wore spurs. / HAROLD is a little chunky man, quite a youth, and wears a very thick moustache" (old folds, one or two minute holes where the folds cross, some insignificant spotting).

There are two known printings of this particular Assassination Broadside,  with each printing encompassing minor alterations, or issue points. This is first printing, and an exceptionally early issue, perhaps the first issue, as it mentions ‘G A  Atzerot’ (ie George Atzerodt), who was captured on the morning of the 20th of April, the same day that this broadside was issued. Subsequent issues of this printing replace Atzerodt with Surratt. This cataloguer has only been able to find one other example, or record, of this issue of this printing, in the collections of the State Library of Ohio That example is in comparatively poor condition and laid down on paste-board

The second printing of this particular Assassination Broadside, has spaces for the photographs in the top margin for the placement of photographs of the wanted men.

The wording of this current broadside comes directly from Edwin M. Stanton's edict of the 20th of April to General Dix, and includes Atzerodt rather than John H. Surratt. The same wording appears in several local newspapers on the 21st of April, 1865. (See William C. Edwards "The Lincoln Assassination: The Reward Files", 2012, pages i-ii). 

George A. Atzerodt, a thirty-year old German immigrant and carriage painter, was captured in bed early on the morning of April 20. Prior to the assassination, he had taken a room at the same hotel occupied by Vice President Johnson, and a search of his room revealed weapons and some property belonging to Booth. Atzerodt, too, would admit complicity in the kidnapping plot but denied that he had agreed to assassinate Andrew Johnson. Loose talk after the assassination led detectives to his cousin's house in Germantown, Maryland, where he was hiding." (Swanson and Weinberg "Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution, page 14).

"The public was more interested in the four major conspirators. Perhaps because he was a lower-class German-born immigrant, Atzerodt was singled out for much abuse. As Poore concluded, "George B. Atzerodt was a type of those Teutonic Dugald Dalgetttys who have taken an active part in the war... sometimes on one side, and sometimes on the other... He was born in Germany, but was raised and lived among the 'poor white trash' in Charles County, Md. He was a short, thick-set, round-shouldered, brawny-armed man, with a stupid expression, high cheek-bones, a sallow complexion, small grayish-blue eyes, tangled light-brown hair, and straggling sandy whiskers and a mustache. He apparently manifested a stoical indifference to what was going on in the Court, although an occasional cat-like glance would reveal his anxiety concerning himself. Evidently crafty, cowardly, and mercenary, his own safety was evidently the all absorbing subject of his thoughts." Journalist Noah Brooks called Atzerodt a "low and cunning scoundrel" who possessed a "villainous countenance." (ibid, page 16, cf the illustration of the later issue of this broadside at page 52)


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