The Shot Heard By All

Dear, Natalie

How are you doing? I was wondering if you would like to attend Ford’s theatre with me and my husband, Abraham. We are going on April 14, 1865 to see Our American Cousin. I heard it was really good and I haven’t seen you in a while. Now that the war is over I hope we are able to see each other
more. With the ticket enclosed in the letter you will be able to sit in the Presidential Box. After we could go to dinner and catch up. I hope you will attend.









Sincerely,








Mary Todd Lincoln



That is how I, Natalie Marie Hale, got here. It started with a letter from an old friend. I was excited to see my old friend. It felt like ages since we had talked. I was sitting in the box, watching the play and then it happened. It was so quick I couldn’t believe it had happened. I got to the theatre a couple minutes before the show started. Hoping to be able to talk to Mary, but unfortunately she was running late. I sat there waiting with Major Rathbone and Clara Harris. I talked to Clara a little bit, she told me all about the show, and she gave her reviews. Apparently she loved it and this was her 3rd time seeing it.



Then the show began. About 10 minutes into the show Mary and her husband walked in. They smiled at us and Mary apologized about being late. It was something about the Senator of Missouri needing an audience with Abraham. After a minute they sat and watched the play with the rest of us. Everything was going great, the show was phenomenal and I was going to be able to talk with Mary later. Suddenly the atmosphere shifted.


Someone entered the room and when Major Rathbone asked them to state their business there, he ran up to Abraham with a gun and shot him in the back of the head. Abraham slumped over in his chair as if he had fallen asleep. Major Rathbone jumped from his chair and lunged at the man, but the man stabbed him in the arm. Then the man jumped from the box onto the stage. When he landed he held the knife above his head and screamed “Sic simper tyrannis.” Then he ran towards the door. Men chased after him, but he was quicker.


It all seamed surreal. Like this was the play. I felt as if I was in another world. How could that have happened? Was this some terrifying dream? Unfortunately, it wasn’t. That foul man had shot Abraham Lincoln. Mary’s screams drowned out all the others. I silently stood there. The world would never be the same. Mary wouldn’t be the same. I wouldn’t be the same. I had just witnessed a murder, the assignation of a president, the killing of my friends husband. I would definitely never be the same. I quietly get down and comfort Mary as she cries over her husband’s body. I silently wonder how long this was planned, who was that foul man, why would he do this?









Dear Mary,

I am terribly sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. I sit here on my bed writing this to you. It has only been 5 hours since that horrible moment. I sit here and relive it over again unable to get it out of my head. I hope you are doing well. I will stop by to see you in a couple days.






You’re Friend,





Natalie Marie


As it had started, it ended with a letter. So many things can happen within a couple days, between two letters, in a mere minute my world changed and it won’t go back to normal. Today, April 14, 1865 our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln was killed.





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