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

This is a guest post by Gayle Osterberg of the Library’s Office of Communications.

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.

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