Jul 27

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Michael Kanazawich is the author of the book Remarkable Stories of the Lincoln Assassination. He is wearing a green shirt and shorts on the east side of 10th Street. The large red brick structure in the background is Ford’s Theater. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Michael Kanazawich begins a series on John Wilkes Booth’s Last Day in Washington, D.C. Mike was born and raised in Oneonta, New York. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Oneonta State University. He received his Master of Science degree in Environmental Geology from the University of Connecticut. Mike worked as a Geologist for eleven years before becoming a Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide in 1995. Michael Kanazawich is the author of the book Remarkable Stories of the Lincoln Assassination.

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In today’s post, Michael Kanazawich introduces the series of John Wilkes Booth’s Last Day in Washington, D.C., and shows us the site of the National Hotel where John Wilkes Booth stayed while in Washington.

This map shows us the locations taken of videos for the John Wilkes Booth’s Last Day in Washington series. Video #1 was at the site of Ford’s Theater. Videos #2 and #4 were taken on Pennsylvania Avenue on the south side of the site of the National Hotel (now the Newseum). Video #3 was taken on the north side of the site of the National Hotel. This map was created facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Tuesday, July 18, 2009.

Ford’s Theater was the site where John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln on the evening of April 14, 1865. Lincoln would die on April 15, 1865. This view was taken facing southeast circa 1865.

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In Video #1 Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Mike Kanazawich introduces himself, and the series on John Wilkes Booth’s Last Day in Washington, D.C. Ford’s Theater is the brick building in the background. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

John Wilkes Booth was a well-known American stage actor by the 1860s. He was born to the actor Junius Brutus Booth and his mistress (later wife) Mary Ann Holmes on May 10, 1838. The Booth family lived in Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland. This view was featured on many of the “Wanted Posters” for Booth following Lincoln’s assassination.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Mike Kanazawich is standing at the corner of 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The “Newseum,” which fronts Pennsylvania Avenue is in the background. The Newseum sits on the site of what in 1865 was the National Hotel. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

The National Hotel opened in 1826 (when it was known as Gadsby’s Hotel) and was renamed the National Hotel after it was elevated to four floors in 1844. After it was renovated in 1857 it contained approximately 200 rooms. Besides John Wilkes Booth, this hotel hosted other well-known individuals such as Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay (who died here in 1852), and Mathew Brady. This view was taken facing northeast in the 1860s and is courtesy of the Lincoln Institute.

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In Video #2 Licensed Battlefield Guide Mike Kanazawich tells the story of John Wilkes Booth returning to the National Hotel at approximately 2:00 AM on April 14, 1865. The night before, the City of Washington celebrated Lee’s Surrender at Appomattox by holding an illumination. Lights were on all over the city. Booth returned to his room and wrote a letter to his mother. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

Coincidentally, the special exhibit at the Newseum while we were filming our series was “Manhunt.” This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

Mike Kanazawich is standing at the corner of 6th Street (right to left) and C Street (running away from the camera to the east). The back (north side) of the National Hotel (now the back of the Newseum) was on the site in the background. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

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In Video #3 Mike Kanazawich explains how easy it was for John Wilkes Booth, who had a room on the second floor of the National Hotel, to yell across the street to a stable where he could procure a horse. This view was taken facing east to northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

Mike Kanazawich is standing at the corner of 6th Street (top left to bottom right) and C Street (where the single gray/silver car is on the right). The stable of James W. Pumphrey was in the background on a site now occupied by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

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In Video #4 Mike Kanazawich explains how Booth has breakfast on the morning of April 14, 1865 at the National Hotel and walked four blocks to Ford’s Theater. This view was taken facing southeast to north to northwest at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

After finishing breakfast the morning of April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth left the National Hotel to walk to Ford’s Theater to check his mail. Ford’s Theater is four blocks in the right background. Pennsylvania Avenue runs away from the camera to the left. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Mike Kanazawich is the author of the book Remarkable Stories of the Lincoln Assassination. It is available from Colecraft Industries. This image was scanned facing south at approximately 5:15 PM on Tuesday, July 21, 2009.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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