Henry S. Foote

Henry Stuart Foote was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, on 28th February, 1804. After graduating from Washington College in 1819 he studied law and was admitted to bar and commenced practice in Tuscumbia, Alabama, in 1825. The following year he moved to Mississippi and worked in Jackson, Natchez, Vicksburg and Raymond.

A member of the Democratic Party he was elected to the Senate and served from March, 1847 to January, 1852, when he resigned to become governor of Mississippi (1852-54).

Foote moved to California but moved back to the South after the outbreak of the American Civil War. He served in the Confederate Congress and after the war moved to Washington where he practiced law. In his autobiography, Reminiscences (1873), Foote claimed that Andrew Johnson was involved in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Henry Stuart Foote died on 20th May, 1880.

Primary Sources

(1) Henry Stuart Foote, Reminiscences (1873)

First: Mr. Johnson's well-known and anxious desire for the highest official honors which the country could bestow upon him, for the space of at least twenty years before the "deep damnation" of Mr. Lincoln's "taking off" had blurred so unfortunately the historic record of our country.

Second: the utter extinction of his hopes of Presidential advancement along the accustomed pathway to promotion, by his shameless drunkenness on the day of his being sworn into office as Vice President.

Third: his falling out with Mr. Lincoln soon after, and delivering a speech on Pennsylvania Avenue in bitter denunciation of humanity and moderation.

Fourth: that Booth called at Mr. Johnson's private room, only a few hours before the murder occurred, and on finding him absent wrote upon a card the deep disappointment which he felt at not having met with the only human being on earth who could possibly profitably Mr. Lincoln's death, and who was at the same time the only individual in the world who could give assurance to the murderer of his own pardon.