Lincoln assassination program titled “Martyr of Liberty” to be presented Saturday evening

National Park Service News Release - Fort Scott National Historic Site

Fort Scott National Historic Site
Old Fort Boulevard
PO Box 918
Fort Scott, KS 66701
(620) 223-0310 phone

Release Date: April 15, 2015
Contacts: Barak Geertsen, barak_geertsen@nps.gov

Lincoln assassination program titled “Martyr of Liberty” to be presented Saturday evening

"Sic Semper Tyrannis" (Thus be it ever with tyrants) were the words that John Wilkes Booth shouted 150 years ago as he leapt onto the stage of Ford's Theater and into the pages of villainy after firing the shot that would claim the life of President Abraham Lincoln. This fateful act took place on April 14, 1865.

On Saturday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m., the story of the Lincoln assassination will be told by several of Fort Scott NHS’s volunteers who will be portraying characters involved in the story in a Chautauqua-style presentation. (A Chautauqua was a popular late nineteenth century form of entertainment that involved a series of lectures, musical programs, plays, dramatic presentations, etc.) Characters portrayed in this program will include Clara Harris, who attended the theater with President and Mrs. Lincoln that evening, Dr. Samuel Mudd, a physician who attended Booth’s ankle, (injured from leaping onto the stage), and Mary Surratt, whose boarding house was used as a meeting place for Booth and his conspirators.

The program will also feature Asia Booth, younger sister of the assassin, who later wrote a memoir explaining her brother’s actions, Boston Corbett, who killed Booth while he was hiding out at a barn, and Charles Porter, a soldier at Fort Scott who is providing a local perspective on the incident. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton will be telling of his leadership in the hunt for John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators, and the capture and trial of Booth’s conspirators.

Finally, to start the program, reenactors portraying President and Mrs. Lincoln will be on site to tell their story of how they happened to be at Fords’ Theater.

The program is being offered as part of the Civil War Encampment that is taking place on April 18 and April 19. Activities during the day will include infantry, cavalry, and artillery demonstrations presented by Civil War reenactors. The weekend’s events commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the Lincoln assassination. The site is open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 620-223-0310, visit www.nps.gov/fosc, or visit the site’s Facebook page.

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