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Grave of Charles Forbes.

Grave of Lincoln's Unwitting Attendant

Field review by the editors.

Washington, DC

Charles Forbes is a cautionary tale for future generations of bouncers and bodyguards. He served as a messenger and personal attendant in the Lincoln White House, and accompanied the Lincolns to Ford's Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. With patrolman John F. Parker missing in action, Forbes was the lone member of the President's contingent keeping watch outside the presidential box.

A little after 10 o'clock prominent actor John Wilkes Booth approached Forbes and handed him a letter or a calling card. Forbes let Booth enter, unwittingly altering the course of American history and securing himself an undesired place in it.

Forbes died in 1895, and in 1983 the Lincoln Group of Washington had his plot marked. The epitaph states that Forbes went to the theatre with the Lincolns that evening, but spares him the indignity of mentioning that he let Booth in.

[Grave report by Kurt Deion]

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Also see: Congressional Cemetery

Grave of Lincoln's Unwitting Attendant

Congressional Cemetery

Address:
1801 E St. SE, Washington, DC
Directions:
Walk into the cemetery at the intersection of Potomac Ave. SE and E St. SE. At the first cross path turn left. Cross the next cross path. You'll see a line of cenotaphs over the the left. Forbes' tombstone is just south of that line, about three rows before you reach it, on the left.
Hours:
Daylight daily; gated after hours. Office M-F 9-5. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
202-543-0539
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Push-Ma-Ta-HaPush-Ma-Ta-Ha, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
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Father of the Gerrymander GraveFather of the Gerrymander Grave, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Bob Dole's Grave, Arlington, VA - 5 mi.

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