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40 Strange Historical Facts That You Didn’t Learn In History Class

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The demise of Henry Rathbone

National Photo Company Collection [Public domain]

We’re all very familiar with the presidency and assassination of Abraham Lincoln, yes? Well, that night at the Ford Theater had a detrimental effect on more than just the Lincoln family. Henry Rathbone and his wife Clara were guests of the Lincoln’s that night, and Rathbone was the last person to talk to Lincoln before he was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth. Rathbone tried to apprehend Booth but was injured with a knife when Booth slashed at his arm.

He spent the rest of his life racked with guilt over not being able to stop the assassination. He suffered from bouts of depression and became increasingly paranoid and delusional. On Christmas Day in 1883, he attacked his children, stabbed his wife Clara to death when she tried to protect them and tried to take his own life. He spent the rest of his life in an asylum before dying in 1911.

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