Photos from the Archives: John Wilkes Booth Comes Back to Ford’s Theatre

Ford’s Theatre’s newest blog post discusses the first museum that was housed inside their historic edifice: the Army Medical Museum. They were also kind enough to link to one of my posts on the subject. Take a look and, if you so desire, you can also check out my pictures of John Wilkes Booth’s vertebrae by visiting here: https://boothiebarn.com/2014/06/27/john-wilkes-booths-vertebrae/

FORD'S THEATRE | BLOG

A view of the Army Medical Museum when it was housed on the third floor of the former Ford’s Theatre. Courtesy of The National Museum of Health and Medicine. A view of the Army Medical Museum that was housed on the third floor of the Ford’s Theatre site. Courtesy of The National Museum of Health and Medicine.

Following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, powerful public reactions caused the War Department to seize Ford’s Theatre from John T. Ford (eventually offering him compensation) and gut the building. The department transformed the former theatre into a three-story office building. The first two floors stored veterans’ pension records, while the third became an Army medical museum.

The Army Medical Museum at Ford’s Theatre opened on April 13, 1867, almost exactly two years after the assassination. Highlighting the morbidity of the war’s medical practices, the museum’s collections of human body parts, and particularly human skulls, was a far cry from the once jovial theatre, but it entranced tourists all the same. The collection also included a part…

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Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Photos from the Archives: John Wilkes Booth Comes Back to Ford’s Theatre

  1. SarahJencks

    Thank you, Dave!

    Sarah Jencks Director of Education Programming Ford’s Theatre | Where Lincoln’s Legacy Lives

  2. Kathy Canavan

    Very cool photo

  3. Joe Lattanzio0

    Great pic. Do we know what individual actually directed that the Theatre be gutted ?

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