Fragment of President Abraham Lincoln’s Shirt

The Abraham Lincoln Foundation of The Union League of Philadelphia

Explore the Collage Containing a Fragment of the Shirt President Abraham Lincoln Wore the Night He Was Assassinated

On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th President of the United States, was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater. The mortally wounded President was taken across the street to the Petersen House, where he died in the early morning on April 15, 1865.

John C. Weaver was one of six Quartermaster Department soldiers under the command of General Daniel Rucker, who transported Abraham Lincoln’s body from the Petersen House to the White House where Army surgeons conducted the autopsy.

In gratitude for the service of the soldiers, Rucker gave each a piece of the white linen shirt worn by President Lincoln when he was shot on April 14.

The cloth fragment is now part of a collage that also includes a photograph, two newspaper clippings, a document and annotations.

The collage was donated by Weaver’s great-great-grandson, Union League Member Ralph Burnard, and his wife Elaine, to The Union League of Philadelphia, a patriotic society founded in 1862 to support Abraham Lincoln and the Union during the American Civil War.

The collage includes more information about John C. Weaver, his service, and the shirt fragment.

The collage also includes newspaper articles and annotations.

This annotation reads, "Piece of A. Lincoln's shirt worn at time of assination [sic]."

The annotation at the top reads, "Notice folds and pin marks...

...Father always carried piece of shirt securely fastened."

A closer look at the shirt fragment reveals dirt, creases, and pin holes.

Pictured here is Weaver’s daughter, Ella Millen, who created the collage. The annotation at the right describes the photograph.

“This is the room where A. Lincoln died. Directly opposite from where I stand with fathers [sic] framed credentials was the... where the bed stood. Notice the many photographs of A. Lincoln.”

This is the only remaining fragment of the shirt President Abraham Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated.

The shirt fragment and collage demonstrate the power of an object to capture an important and profound moment in history.

Credits: Story

The Abraham Lincoln Foundation of The Union League of Philadelphia.

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