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J Community Health. 1998 Oct;23(5):383-405.

Dr. John Frederick May and the identification of John Wilkes Booth's body.

Author information

1
State University of New York, Health Science Center, College of Medicine, Brooklyn 11203, USA.

Abstract

Shortly after President Abraham Lincoln's assassin was killed on April 26, 1865, a formal inquest was held to positively identify the body. Dr. John Frederick May, a leading surgeon in the District of Columbia, was summoned to examine the remains. Two years earlier, Dr. May had removed a fibroid tumor from the back of the assassin's neck and an identifiable large ugly scar resulted when the wound inadvertently opened and healed by granulation. Based upon the recognition of the scar made by his scalpel, Dr. May made a positive identification.

PMID:
9793835
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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