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Sep 15, 2013

Eyewitness to History-President Lincoln’s Deathbed, Photograph By Julius Ulke, April 15, 1865

Six men carried the President across the street to the back bedroom of a house owned by William Petersen. There the doctors monitored his breathing and vital signs throughout the night. All of the doctors in attendance were convinced that the wound was fatal. Only Mrs. Lincoln, stunned and inconsolable, clung to hope for his recovery. The President died the following morning at 7:22 a.m.

Julius Ulke, who was a boarder at the house where Lincoln died, took this photograph shortly after the President’s body was removed.

Statement of Dr. Robert King Stone, President Lincoln’s family physician, May 16, 1865, page 44a

“I proceeded then to examine him, and instantly found that the President had received a gun shot wound in the back part of the left side of his head, into which I carried immediately my finger. I at once informed those around that the case was a hopeless one; that the President would die; that there was no positive limit to the duration of his life, that his vital tenacity was very strong, and he would resist as long as any man could, but that death certainly would soon close the scene.”

—From Dr. Stone’s testimony

Chicago History Museum [ICHi-11209], Chicago, Illinois and National Archives.

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    "I found a hole in his head so I stuck my finger in it"
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