This day in history at 717 Madison Place

17 Madison Place

17 Madison Place

On April 14th, 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot and fatally wounded Abraham Lincoln.  That same evening, a co-conspirator of Booth’s attempted to assassinate Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William H. Seward.  Seward was living at the time in a house (now demolished) at 17 Madison Place.  That address would later be re-designated as 717 Madison Place, where the building for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit now resides.

Seward’s attacker was Lewis Powell.  Powell gained access to the house under the ruse of delivering medicine to Seward who was recovering from a carriage accident.  After first struggling with Seward’s son and critically injuring him, Powell stabbed Seward several times with his Bowie knife before fleeing the house.  It is thought that Seward’s jaw splint from his carriage accident prevented a fatal blow during the attack.

Powell was apprehended the following day and later executed along with other Lincoln assassination conspirators. 

220px-fsewardlpaineSeward recovered from his wounds and would later successfully negotiate the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million on March 30, 1867.

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