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By Charles A. Leale / The Estate of Charles A. Leale / 1909
Review Charles A. Leale’s official explanation of the injuries suffered by Abraham Lincoln as a result of John Wilkes Booth assassination attempt. Learn the reasons behind Leale’s treatment of Lincoln, and how he preserved the president’s life for several hours into the next morning.
Learn more about Abraham Lincoln with the Abraham Lincoln Collection.
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Charles A. Leale (1842–1932) was the first doctor to arrive at Ford’s Theatre after Abraham Lincoln was shot. His efforts prevented Lincoln’s immediate death and kept him alive until the next morning. Leale had graduated from medical school just six weeks earlier. He served as a surgeon in the Union Army during the final weeks of the Civil War. His book Lincoln’s Last Hour was presented in 1867 to Representative Benjamin F. Butler’s House commission that was investigating the assassination. It was not released to the public until 1909.