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TRIPLE CALAMITY

Triple Calamity is an alternate history story. It's told through media created from within the alternate timeline. Back in 1865, on the same night that President Lincoln was killed two other men were supposed to die. Both Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward were targets to be killed by John Wilkes Booth and his close friends. Both Seward and Johnson very nearly were killed, yet due to a bit of luck, they weren't. In Triple Calamity all three men are assasinated changing the course of US history forever...


Chapter 1: April 14th, 1865


10:10 PM- He vigorously pounded at the door. Perhaps a bit too vigours. Powell stopped to calm himself before the door to the home slid open. A black man stared back at Powell.

"Sir?"

"Ah. Uh. Yes. Uhm," Powell grabbed a small vile out of his pocket. "Terribly sorry, Doctor Verdi requested that I deliver this medicinal product to the Secretary," the servant blankly stared back at Powell before responding.

"The good doctor had requested that Mr. Seward remain undisturbed. Mister?-"

"No, no I am the doctors personal assistant he simply forgot to hand this vile to the secretaries' son." The servant looked back into the house and then back to Powell.

"If you would excuse me for just a moment-"

"No! No time. I insist!" Powell knew he had pushed his luck. He pushed past the black servant and rushed inside the home and started rushing up the stairs.

"Excuse me sir!" Powell looked up to see the face of Fredrick Seward. The eldest son of the man he was rushing to visit.

"Ah. Uhm Mr. Seward. I must see your father I have some- Uh." The next few seconds were a blur. He and Fredrick argued some it was really going nowhere. He had a mission. He pulled out his gun and fired at Fredrick. The gun misfired. Fuck. Powell slammed the gun against Seward's head, barged through the bedroom door, pulled out a knife slashed a guard against the arm and began giving his all, right at the bedridden Secretary of State's face and neck. Powell heard his knife clanking on some sort of metal. He saw the brace around Seward’s neck that was supporting his broken jaw. In a split second decision Powell removed the brace just enough to thrust his knife into Seward's neck. [1]. He knew then that his end of the plan was accomplished.


10:15 PM- Booth knew this play. He'd preformed it before. He bet he could recite every line of Our American Cousin by heart. The audience always laughed at one line. One line that blew the roof off. Wait... Wait... Wait...

"Well, I guess I know you enough to turn you inside out old gal; you sockdologizing old man-trap!" The president laughed for the very final time. Booth squeezed his index finger and... BANG. The next moments were a blur. A man jumped towards him, Booth slashed him on the arm. Seeing few other options he jumped to the stage. He felt a sharp pain in his leg, he knew he had to say something to the audience who just witnessed John Wilkes Booth's magnum opus. So, Uh.

"Sic Semper Tyrannus! The South is Avenged!"


10:17 PM- Oh god. Oh god. Come on George you have the courage. Oh lord almighty. I can do it I can! Atzerodt looked towards the stairs of the hotel. Then back to that sweet sweet bar. Then to the stairs. Then to-. [2] No. No not back to that damn bar. George Atzerodt will be a name feared by the north and honored by the south! He oughta slay the traitor from Tennessee! With all the courage he could muster he rushed up the stairs of the Kirkwood House. He walked down the hall, towards the Vice President's room for... admittedly the second time. He chickened out the first. NO MATTER! He walked right up to the right door and knocked! Oh shit. Oh fuck. What have I done by god! The palm grasping the revolver in his hand got very sweaty as he watched the door knob turn and then the door open and then- BANG.


10:22 PM-

"BY GOD! HAVE YOU HEARD! THE PRESIDENT'S BEEN SHOT!"

"Not just him sir! I heard from my dearest that the Secretary of State was stabbed just down the road!"

"No! That simply cannot be! I heard that the Vice President was slain at the Kirkwood House!"


TRIPLE CALAMITY! PRESIDENT LINCOLN DECLARED DEAD BY DOCTORS! SECRETARY OF STATE SEWARD DEAD MERE MINUTES AFTER STABBING! VICE PRESIDENT JOHNSON CLINGING TO LIFE IN HIS HOTEL ROOM SURROUNDED BY FAMILY! New York Herald April 15th with it's infamous Triple Headlines

"The death of Seward was found out relatively quickly. He died almost immediately following the stabbings at somewhere around 10:12 the night of April 14th. Over the next ten minutes both the President and Vice President would be mortally wounded. Most congressmen and cabinet members would be awoken around 11:00. The timeline gets confusing around here. We know that at 1:00 AM many members of congress convened to figure out who would succeed Lincoln, should Johnson not survive. It is not known when a consensus was reached. What is known is that there was bitter debate between many figures over whether it was to be the Senate Pro Tempore Lafayette S Foster or the Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax. From a couple memoirs however we can gather it was never a real debate, most people there thought the radical republicans were just complaining. To most it was natural that the head of the senate should assume the Presidency it's the 'upper house' of course. That said the radical view was that Colfax ought to be President because he was the Speaker of the People's House. After some re-readings of the constitution it became clear that the Foster faction won out. From what I was able to gather this happened sometime between 3:00 and 6:00 AM. To appease the radicals however a special election would be held in November to ensure the people don't have a president no one voted for.


At 7:22 in the morning President Lincoln was pronounced dead. The next day on the 17th as Johnson's doctors made it more clear to congress that he wouldn't make it, preparations were made to swear in Foster. The congressmen who weren't in the initial meeting were promptly informed of the line of succession around noon on the 17th. The next day's newspapers announced to the people that Foster would be sworn in should Johnson die. At 3:44 AM on April 19th Vice President Johnson died. At 4:24 the same morning Lafayette S Foster became the 17th President of the United States. (Some circles like to say that he is actually the 18th President because Johnson was president for two days yet that is false, as Johnson was never sworn in. Instead those two days simply had no president at all.)"


- From The President No One Voted For

by Kieren Hutchinson, published 1982

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