John Frederick Parker

John Frederick Parker

John Frederick Parker was one of four men detailed to act as USA President Abraham Lincoln's bodyguard on April 14, 1865, the night Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s theater.Parker was responsible for guarding the entrance to the State Box. He is known to have at first stayed at his assigned post, but then wandered away in order to catch a glimpse of the play. During the intermission, Parker went to a nearby tavern with Lincoln's footman and coachman. It is unclear whether he ever returned to the theatre, but he was not at his post when John Wilkes Booth entered the State Box and shot the president.

Parker was charged with neglect of duty and tried on May 3, 1865 but no transcripts of the case exist. The complaint was dismissed on June 2. Parker remained on the police force until 1868 when he was fired for sleeping on duty.

He was born May 19, 1830, in Virginia and died in Washington on June 28, 1890.


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