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Famous Trials: Trial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

Tech Product Equipment

Computer(s), Internet access, projector

Activity Description

In this activity, students research text, pictures and comments about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in preparation for a mock trial simulating the real one that followed the assassination in 1865. This site, which is about the assassination of President Lincoln, was created by the American history teacher, Roger Norton. He used this site to do mock trials with his students simulating the real one that followed the assassination in 1865.


  1. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school and that the resources can be viewed.
  2. Review the site and the available resources. There are texts, pictures, and comments available
  3. Choose which characters should be part of the trial. This may vary according to the number of students willing to participate. You need to have at least a student to be the judge and a few students to be the accused. There were eight people charged, lawyers, and witnesses, so it would become more interesting if you could have more students involved.


  1. Choose which characters will be part of the trial.
  2. Let students review the site and find information regarding the characters’ actions before, during, and after the assassination. Let them choose pictures or other information that may enrich the facts.
  3. Give time for students to research and plan.
  4. Facilitate and guide them as necessary during the mock trial.

Teacher Tips

The best place to find information about the trial inside the site is

More Ways

The trial transcripts can be found at

Select subjects and subcategories

Social Studies

  • U.S. History
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.