Built by German tailor William A. Petersen in 1849, the Petersen House is an unassuming three story red brick townhouse on 10th Street that came to be a major location in the American history. On April 14, 1865, just across the street in Fordís Theater, actor and Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, mortally wounded from a gunshot to the head, was carried from his presidential box in the theater to the Petersen boardinghouse, where doctors tried desperately to save his life. He died in bed the next morning. Today the Petersen House is maintained by the National Park Service together with the Fordís Theater National Historic Site as a museum recreating the night Lincoln was killed.
- See the original bloodstained pillowcase with a recreation of the Presidentís deathbed (the bed itself was purchased by the Chicago Historical Society)
- Experience the front parlor, where Lincolnís wife Mary Todd and son Robert spent an anguished night awaiting news of Lincolnís fate
- View the chamber where Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton uttered his immortal words, ďNow he belongs to the ages,Ē as Americaís 16th President died at 7:22 AM, April 15, 1865
For more information, visit the official websites at www.nps.gov