The dying president was carried from Ford's Theatre to William Petersen's boarding house across the street on Good Friday in April 1865.

George Francis and his wife Huldah lived in the front rooms at Petersen's. They were settling down to sleep when a terrible scream frightened them from their bed. Peering out the window, they saw a great commotion at the theatre and heard the cry, "The president is shot!" George threw on his clothes and ran across the street. He later wrote a letter to his niece Josephine describing the evening's events:

Petersen's Boarding House, Washington, D.C. (ICHi-11208).

I have been on the point of writing to you for some time back, but we have had so much excitement here -- so much to occupy my attention, that it has seemed as though I must be in a dream, and I have hardly known what I was about. The fall of Richmond, the surrender of Lee's army, and the assassination of the President is all that has been thought of here. The President died in our house, and we witnessed that heartrending scene. I shall never forget that awful night, following too, as it did, one of such general rejoicing...

Poor Man! I could see as the gas light fell upon his face, that it was deathly pale, and that his eyes were closed. They carried him on out into the street, and towards our steps. The door was open and a young man belonging to the house standing on the steps told them to bring him in there, expecting to have him laid upon our bed. But the door to that room being fastened they passed on to a little room in the back... Mrs. Lincoln came in soon after, accompanied by Major Rathbone and Miss Harris, -- She was perfectly frantic "Where is my husband!" "Where is my husband!" she cried, wringing her hands in the greatest anguish. As she approached his bedside she bent over him, kissing him again and again, exclaiming "How can it be so? Do speak to me!"

Major Henry Rathbone, a guest in the presidential box at Ford's Theatre, had been wounded when he grabbed assassin John Wilkes Booth. Rathbone and a fellow army officer escorted Mary Lincoln and Rathbone's fiancée Clara Harris out of the theatre. Henry later testified:

On reaching the head of the stairs, deponent [Rathbone] requested Major Potter to aid him in assisting Mrs. Lincoln across the street to the house which the President was conveyed. The wound which deponent had received had been bleeding very profusely and on reaching the house, feeling very faint from the loss of blood, he seated himself in the hall and soon after fainted away and was laid upon the floor. Upon the return of consciousness deponent was taken in the carriage to his residence...(GOOD 43)

"Diagram of the House in Which President Lincoln Died," John G. Nicolay and John Hay Abraham Lincoln: A History, 1890 (ICHi-30944). Diagram features Room No. 1 (Lincoln's deathbed), Room No. 2 (examination of witnesses), Room No. 3 (Mrs. Lincoln, Robert and friends), Hall ("carpet covered with oilcloth, stained with drops of blood"), and S ("large blood spot on doorstep").

Letter from George Francis to his niece Josephine, Washington D.C., May 5, 1865 (ICHi-30939).