I find it baffling till this day that John Frederick Parker (1830-1890) who was an American police officer for the Metropolitan Police Dept. of the District of Columbia was not fired after he left his post at Ford's Theater the night Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th, 1865.
Is it true that Lincoln allowed him to leave at intermission time? He left and went straight to the saloon next door and apparently never returned. What might of happened if Parker was at his post? Would he have prevented John Wilkes Booth from entering the President's box? Would Parker have been killed instead?
These questions we will never know the answers to. What we do know is; Parker was assigned to guard the entrance to the President's box. He was at his post at first, but he told family members afterwards that he was allowed to go by Lincoln until the end of the play. Is that true?
Parker was charged with neglect of duty and tried in 1865, on May 3rd. However, no official records of the case were kept.
The complaint against Parker was dismissed on June 2nd. It is even more baffling how, Parker was still assigned to work security at the White House afterwards.
Before Mrs. Lincoln moved out of the White House following the President's death, Parker was assigned to be her bodyguard.
Parker attempted to defend himself saying "I could never stoop to murder much less to the murder of so good and great a man as the President. I did wrong, I admit, and have bitterly repented."
Mrs. Lincoln told Parker she would always think he was responsible for the President's death. Parker worked on the police force until 1868. He was eventually fired for sleeping on duty.
There are no photos of John Frederick Parker. His grave in Glenwood cemetery in Washington D.C. is unmarked.
jameswritesbest (author) on April 09, 2021:
Thank you taking the time to read my article.
MG Singh from UAE on April 08, 2021:
Very informative article. I didn't know about the sad story of his sons. He was certainly a great man.