An actor stands dressed as an 1860s detective, holding a notepad. Behind him on a brick wall is posted a reward poster for the capture of Lincoln's assassin.
Eric M. Messner as Detective James McDevitt in the Ford’s Theatre History on Foot walking tour, Investigation: Detective McDevitt. Photo by Gary Erskine.

Investigation: Detective McDevitt

A walking tour that brings history to life!

duration 90 minutes
rating Recommended for ages 8 and older.

On the night of April 14, 1865, Detective James McDevitt was on duty at the Washington Metropolitan Police headquarters, a half-block from Ford’s Theatre. Just before 10:30 p.m., frantic witnesses rushed in with horrifying news: President Lincoln had been shot at the theatre. Join Detective McDevitt as he revisits the sites and reexamines the clues from the investigation into the Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy. Part of “History on Foot.”

The distance walked is approximately 1.6 miles from Ford’s Theatre to the White House. Wear comfortable shoes.

This walking tour of downtown Washington, D.C., makes eight stops. It does not include entrance into Ford’s Theatre. Tours will resume March 29, 2023.


Richard Hellesen


Mark Ramont

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An actor stands dressed as an 1860s detective, holding a notepad. Behind him on a brick wall is posted a reward poster for the capture of Lincoln's assassin.
Photo by Gary Erskine.

Virtual Investigation: Detective McDevitt

Assist Detective James McDevitt as he investigates the assassination of President Lincoln in a free, online event.

A classroom full of students. They are looking at a projection of an actor portraying Detective James McDevitt.
Photo courtesy Craig Segall.

Virtual History on Foot

Can’t come to Washington, D.C.? Let Detective McDevitt come to you! You and your group can now experience our “Investigation: Detective McDevitt” tour online. This program is available for Grades 3 and up and lasts 60 minutes. $100 per session.

Detective McDevitt standing in an alley with brick buildings in the background holding a white 4 by 6 photo of John Wilkes Booth.
Photo by Gary Erskine.

Private History on Foot Tours

Private tours of “Investigation: Detective McDevitt” are available by request and based on availability. There is a flat fee of $725 for a private tour for a group of two to 30 people. Full payment is due at the time of tour confirmation. To facilitate scheduling your tour, please be prepared to provide your first, second and third choice of dates and times, the number of people, and a very brief description of your group. We will make every effort to accommodate you. To arrange a private tour, call (800) 899-2367 or email the Group Sales Department.

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From the Gallery


A fun way for Washingtonians to explore their city through the lens of history."
– Roll Call
"This tour was amazing! I could almost feel like a young detective solving Lincoln's murder. It gave us a hands-on experience that we thoroughly enjoyed."
– Patron Anna B.
"This is a great tour! It's a close look at the Lincoln assassination, with details on the overall conspiracy that don't get covered in U.S. history classes. It's also a nice, easy walk and a way to see the city from a totally different perspective. Fun for all ages. "
– Patron Ann Marie G.
"The history under our feet becomes very apparent when you do a walking tour. I highly recommend it. #HistoryonFoot"
– @HistoriErin

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