Learning Lincoln On-line



This article goes with Question #3 of the Lincoln Assassination Activity


Where was Tad Lincoln the Night of the Assassination of His Father?


          On April 14, 1865, Tad Lincoln went to Grover's Theatre to see the play Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp while his parents attended the performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre.

          That night, his father was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth. When news of the assassination spread to Grover's Theatre, the manager made an announcement to the entire audience. Lincoln began running and screaming, "They killed Papa! They killed Papa!" He was escorted back to the White House while his mother pleaded to have him brought to his father's deathbed at the Petersen House. "Bring Tad—he will speak to Tad—he loves him so."

           Late that night an inconsolable Tad was put to bed by a White House doorman. President Lincoln died the next morning, on April 15, at 7:22am.

           About the death of his father Lincoln said:  Pa is dead. I can hardly believe that I shall never see him again. I must learn to take care of myself now. Yes, Pa is dead, and I am only Tad Lincoln now, little Tad, like other little boys. I am not a president's son now. I won't have many presents anymore. Well, I will try and be a good boy, and will hope to go someday to Pa and brother Willie, in Heaven.

16th President Collection of Activities

Learning On-Line Home Page