Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Found After 147 Years: Doctor's Report of the Lincoln Assassination

80beatsBy Veronique GreenwoodJune 8, 2012 12:58 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news


Dr. Charles Leale, an Army surgeon, was sitting 40 feet away from Abraham Lincoln when he was shot the evening of April 14, 1865. Rushing to the wounded president's side, he found himself the first doctor on the scene. His account of what came next---all 22 pages of it

---was discovered recently by a researcher looking through boxes in the National Archives for yet-undiscovered letters written by or to President Lincoln. The report, though written in a formal style, gives an immediate glimpse into what happened that night after John Wilkes Booth fired his pistol:

When I reached the President he was in a state of general paralysis, his eyes were closed and he was in a profoundly comatose condition, while his breathing was intermittent and exceedingly stertorous. I placed my finger on his right radial pulse but could perceive no movement of the artery. As two gentlemen now arrived, I requested them to assist me to place him in a recumbent position, and as I held his head and shoulders, while doing this my hand came in contact with a clot of blood near his left shoulder.

Keep reading the digitized report here

, courtesy of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln Project


    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In