The items found in Abraham Lincoln’s pockets after his assassination

14th April 1865: The assassination of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln by actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre, Washington DC. (Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Abraham Lincoln was carrying a number of items when he was fatally shot at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. The items, found inside the pockets of a black overcoat he was wearing on that fateful night, consist of:

  • 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.
The items found in Lincoln’s pockets. Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith.

The items were given to his son, Robert Todd Lincoln, upon Lincoln’s death. They were placed in a box and were not revealed until more than 100 years after Lincoln’s assassination.

They were later passed down to Robert’s daughter, Mary “Mamie” Lincoln Isham, who donated them to the Library of Congress in 1937.

1865: The contents of President Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the night he was assassinated. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

The box remained unopened and unexamined until 1976, when then-Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin made the contents known to the public, on what would have been Lincoln’s 167 birthday.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America.

Source: Media Without Borders/


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