In addition to the national tragedy following President Lincoln's assassination, there were personal tolls on those involved with the attack and conspiracy. Madness and depression plagued those touched by the event.
|Presidential Box at Ford's Theater|
|Mary Todd Lincoln|
Mary was released into her sister's custody and moved to Springfield. A court proceeding in 1876, declared her competent to manage her own affairs. However, she was so enraged after the court decision that she attempted suicide. She went to the hotel pharmacist and ordered a lethal dose of laudanum to kill herself. The pharmacist realized her intentions and gave her a placebo.
Mrs. Lincoln traveled throughout Europe during the next four years and lived in Pau, France. Her final years were marked by declining health. She suffered from severe cataracts that reduced her eyesight; this condition may have contributed to her increasing susceptibility to falls. In 1879, she suffered spinal cord injuries in a fall from a stepladder.
During the early 1880s, Mary Lincoln was confined to the Springfield, Illinois residence of her sister Elizabeth Edwards. On July 16, 1882, she collapsed at her sister's home and lapsed into a coma. She died at age 63 and was interred in the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield alongside her husband.
On April 14, 1865, Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancée Clara Harris accepted an invitation to see a play at Ford's Theater from President and Mrs. Lincoln. The couple had been friends with the President and his wife for some time. Rathbone and Harris were asked after several other people had declined Mrs. Lincoln's invitation to the play.
After John Wilkes Booth fatally shot Lincoln, Rathbone attempted to restrain Booth and prevent his escape. During the struggle, Booth slashed Rathbone's left arm from the elbow to his shoulder with a dagger. Rathbone quickly recovered and tried to grab Booth as he prepared to jump from the Presidential Box. He grabbed onto Booth's coat and caused Booth to vault over the rail of the box down to the stage. The off-balance fall caused Booth to break his left leg. However, in spite injury, Booth managed to escape the theater and make his way to Virginia. Despite his own serious wound, Rathbone escorted Mrs. Lincoln to the Petersen House where her husband had been taken. Shortly after helping Mrs. Lincoln to the house, Rathbone passed out due to loss of blood.
|Major Henry Rathbone|
Rathbone's wounds healed, but his mental state deteriorated after the assassination. He agonized over his failure to prevent the attack on Lincoln. He recovered sufficiently to marry Clara Harris on July 11, 1867 and the couple had three children.
Rathbone resigned from the Army in 1870, but his mental instability made it difficult to find and hold a job. He became paranoid and believed that Clara was cheating on him. He also resented Clara's attention to their children. He worried that Clara was going to divorce him and take the children. As his condition declined, he reportedly threatened Clara.
Despite his behavior, President Chester Alan Arthur appointed Rathbone as the US Consul to the Province of Hanover in 1882. The family relocated to Germany where Rathbone's mental health continued to worsen.
On December 23, 1883, Rathbone attacked his children in a fit of madness. Then he fatally shot and stabbed his wife, who was trying to protect the children. After killing his wife, Rathbone stabbed himself five times in the chest in an attempted suicide. He was charged with murder and declared insane. He was convicted and committed to the Asylum for the Criminal Insane in Hildesheim, Germany. Rathbone spent the rest of his life in the asylum, died on August 14, 1911, and was buried next to Clara in the city cemetery at Hanover/Engesohde.
|Thomas P. "Boston" Corbett|
|Preston Hill King|
King was considered for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 1860 and was a presidential elector on the Abraham Lincoln ticket in 1864. After the death of President Lincoln, he served as White House Chief of Staff during the early days of the Johnson Administration. He was involved in the Lincoln assassination by virtue of his role in the petition to save Mary Surratt's life. The petition to spare Mary Lincoln's life never reached President Andrew Johnson's desk because King kept the information from Johnson.
On August 14, 1865, King was appointed by Johnson as Collector of the Port of New York. He was selected in an effort to eliminate corruption in the Port of New York and to heal divisions within the Republican Party. He became depressed and committed suicide by tying a bag of bullets around his neck and leaping from a ferryboat in New York Harbor on November 13, 1865. Some attribute his death to the pressure of his new job and the odds against his success. In Killing Lincoln, authors Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard attribute his suicide to remorse from failing to give Johnson the petition. In Killing Lincoln, his body was never found. Other reports say he was buried at the City Cemetery in Ogdensburg.