Infamy

Booth's Deringer

“The Gun That Killed Abraham Lincoln”

This is the pistol that John Wilkes Booth used on the night of April 14, 1865, to shoot President Lincoln in the head. The pistol, on display in the basement museum at Ford’s Theater, was a .44-caliber pistol made by Henry Deringer of Philadelphia. Deringers are single-shot pistols that fired a round lead ball that weighed slightly less than an ounce.

“The gun was favored for its small size,” says the Park Service display. “[I]t could easily be concealed inside a pocket.”

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4 Responses to Infamy

  1. One of my first “Civil War” related visits was to this museum while my dad and I were in Washington D.C. I had to have been about 10 or 11 years old. Out of all the other displays, I remember standing in front of this gun and feeling the weight of history behind the glass. It might have been one of my first “Wow, this is amazing” moments that made me want to study history in general. I wanted to stay for one of the play performances upstairs, but our schedule was tight and we still had to go to the Smithsonian. I think our hotel was a short walk from Ford’s Theater, but I could be remembering that wrong.

  2. Did you notice the Lincoln house restaurant across the street from the theater? They have really good food

  3. Thomas Place says:

    I RECALL SEEING BOTH THE FORMER MUSEUM AND THEN THE RE MODELED LATTER ONE . A MUST SEE AS THEY DID A GREAT JOB , SMALL BUT POWER FULL MUSEUM .ANOTHER UNIQUE EXHIBIT IS THE FULL SCALE REPLICA OF ALL THE CONSPIRATORS. .

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