Presented by the Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin, Georgia. For questions and information, please contact Scott B. Thompson, Sr. at dublinhistory@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

LAURENS WOMAN WITNESSES THE ASSASSINATION OF ABRHAM LINCOLN

       Louise Kohn Baum, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte Baum, moved with her husband to Dublin around the year 1890. Mr. Baum operated the largest department store in the area. Mr. Baum bought the Martin Jones house on the corner of North Franklin Street and East Jackson Street, which came to be known as the Baum Corner. Louise Baum was a daughter of Phillip Kohn, a well renowned artist, whose carvings and paintings were displayed between the President's Chamber and the House of Representatives in the Capitol of the United States. Kohn also did the art work on the exterior doors of the House of Representatives. As a young lady, Louise liked to attend the theater in Washington. On an early spring Friday evening, Louise was invited to join Washington society for a benefit play starring Laura Keene. The play was to start shortly after nine o'clock when the distinguished guests arrived. The audience was celebrating the end of a long and terrible ordeal. The honorable guest was given a thunderous ovation. The curtain rose and the performance of "Our American Cousin" began. About 9:30 a shot was fired. Screams rang out! A cry of "Sic semper tryannis - thus be it ever to tyrants," the Virginia state motto, was heard from a slender young actor who came flying out of box seats. Louise and the audience looked up in horror to see President Abraham Lincoln slumped in his chair at Ford's Theatre. On the next morning of April 15, 1865 President Lincoln died. The history of our county and our nation would be changed forever.

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