John Wilkes Booth: His Impact on American History

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In society today, the smallest most unexpected event or person can make an enormous impact on the course of history as “we” know it. A perfect example of this was caused by John Wilkes Booth. In just a minute he changed history and America in a way that no one thought could or would ever happen. Son of noted actor Junius Brutus Booth and one of ten children, John Wilkes Booth was born on May 10, 1838 near the town of Bel Air, Maryland ( At the ripe age of seventeen, he made his first stage appearance, following in the footsteps of his father. Booth became expert at interpreting Shakespearian works. As a result of that, his roles were mainly in plays like Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and other plays by Shakespeare. Although he rarely prepared for his roles, his dark and muscular appearance made him a desirable candidate for many characters. When the Civil War erupted, Wilkes was in his early twenties- still very young and naïve. Booth’s family mostly supported the Union. On the other hand, Booth was a supporter of the Confederates. As a child, his father’s farm had been operated by slaves, which influenced his views on the subject of the Confederates. Malicious and harmful emotions and opinions materialized from the war that led Booth to start creating schemes against President Lincoln. By 1864, at age 26, he created a plan to keep Lincoln hostage and planned to release him only if the Confederates in the war were freed. The plan began to crumble, so Booth decided to reach out to others who felt the same as he did. He met with several conspirators. The most crucial meeting was when Booth and a few others met at a woman named Mary Surratt’s boarding house in Washington D.C. to come up with a ne... ... middle of paper ... Wilkes Booth.” Salem Press. EBSCO Publishing. N.d. Web. 11 November 2013. “Booth’s Escape Route.” 14 October 2007. “John Wilkes Booth.” Web. 17 March 2014. Kauffman, W. Michael. American Brutus John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies. Random House LLC, 2007. Print. “John Wilkes Booth.” A&E Television Networks: 1996. Web. 20 November 2013. “John Wilkes Booth.” Weider History Group. N.d. Web. 4 December 2013. Norton, R.J. "JOHN WILKES BOOTH'S DIARY." (1867): 18+. Abraham Lincoln's Assassination. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. .

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