Wrist Irons worn by the Abraham Lincoln Conspirators

These wrist irons confined the Lincoln conspirators. Emotions were so strong that the defendants were bound—with the exception of Mary Surratt, the only woman—even during the trial.
John Wilkes Booth’s attack on Lincoln was part of a larger plot to assassinate national leaders and throw the North into turmoil. The conspirators also planned to murder Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward. Besides Booth, eight individuals were charged. Because the plot was considered an act of war, a military commission tried the accused. The court sentenced four suspects to be hanged, and the others to prison.
Transfer from the War Department, 1904
Currently not on view
Object Name
wrist irons
Object Type
associated person
Lincoln, Abraham
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
overall: 13 3/4 in x 3 in x 1 1/2 in; 34.925 cm x 7.62 cm x 3.81 cm
associated place
Unlinked Place
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
Selections from the Abraham Lincoln Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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