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Leonard Farwell, seeing Lincoln killed, saves Vice President Johnson

Former Wisconsin governor saw Lincoln shot

On April 14, 1865, a handful of armed terrorists tried to bring down the U.S. government. President Lincoln was shot while watching a play, Secretary of State William H. Seward was stabbed in the face, and Vice President Andrew Johnson narrowly escaped death thanks to quick action by Wisconsin's Leonard Farwell. In the article linked below, former governor Farwell describes what he saw and relates how he rushed to his hotel to warn vice president Andrew Johnson of his impending assassination (though some historians think Johnson might have escaped anyway, since his murderer, by some accounts, developed cold feet). By saving the vice president, Farwell effectively saved the U.S. government. Johnson took office after Lincoln's death according to the process spelled out in our constitution, and the Union was preserved a second time.

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Related Topics: Wisconsin in the Civil War Era
The Iron Brigade, Old Abe and Military Affairs
Creator: Holmes, Frederick L.. 1883-1946
Pub Data: Wisconsin State Journal, Dec. 2, 1923.
Citation: Holmes, Frederick L. "Former Wisconsin governor saw Lincoln shot." Wisconsin State Journal, Dec. 2, 1923. Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 4/20/2014
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