John Wilkes Booth Booth c. 1865 Born (1838-05-10) May 10, 1838 Bel Air, Maryland, U.S. Died April 26, 1865 (1865-04-26) (aged 26) Port Royal, Virginia, U.S. 38°08′19″N 77°13′49″W / 38.1385°N 77.2302°W / 38.1385; -77.2302 (Site of the Garrett Farm where John Wilkes Booth met fatality) Cause of death Gunshot wound Resting place Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore ...
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John Wilkes Booth, member of one of the United States’ most-distinguished acting families of the 19th century and the assassin who killed President Abraham Lincoln. Booth was himself killed during a standoff with Federal troops days after he shot Lincoln.
- Early life
- Early career
- Military service
- Later life
Despite his success as an actor on the national stage, John Wilkes Booth will forever be known as the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Booth, a native of Maryland, was a fierce Confederate sympathizer during the Civil War. Before the fateful night at Fords Theatre, he had conspired to kidnap Lincoln and hide him until all Confederate prisoners were released. On April 14, 1865, Booth entered the theaters balcony, shot Lincoln at close range and immediately fled the scene. After a 12-day manhunt, Booth was tracked down and killed by Union soldiers.
The celebrated actor Junius Brutus Booth immigrated to the United States from England in the early 1820s and settled his family in Harford County, Maryland, where the ninth of his 10 children, John Wilkes, was born on May 10, 1838. In 1846, it was revealed that Junius Booth had neglected to divorce his first wife before eloping with his second, Mary Ann, 25 years before. The scandal made an impression on young John Wilkes, who was fiercely proud of his illustrious family name.
After his fathers death in 1852, Booth left his studies at the prestigious military school St. Timothys Hall. In 1855, he followed his older brothers, Junius Jr. and Edwin, into the acting profession, making his debut in Shakespeares Richard III at the Charles Street Theatre in Baltimore. Booth worked for a year at a Philadelphia theater before moving to the Marshall Theatre in Richmond, Virginia, where he became known for his dark good looks, his intensely physical, almost acrobatic, performances and his popularity with women.
In October 1859, Boothwho, like many Marylanders, supported slaverywas shocked and galvanized by the abolitionist John Browns bloody raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Booth briefly enlisted in the Richmond militia and witnessed Browns hanging in December. That summer, he signed on as the leading man in a touring theater company. Booth was about to take on the part of Hamlet in October 1860 when he accidentally shot himself in the thigh with a co-stars pistol. Abraham Lincoln was elected president one month later, and Booth watched the South move toward secession while recuperating in Philadelphia. Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, Lincoln declared martial law in Maryland as part of an effort to keep the state from seceding. Angry and frustrated, Booth nonetheless promised his mother he would never enlist in the Confederate Army. He continued his acting career, drawing crowds and impressing critics from St. Louis to Boston. In November 1863, he performed in The Marble Heart at Washingtons Fords Theatre. In the audience were President and Mrs. Lincoln. It was the only time Lincoln would see Booth perform.
In late May 1864, Booth invested in an oil company in western Pennsylvania. After seeing no immediate profit, he backed out of the operation, losing most of his savings. By that time, he had already begun working on his conspiracy to kidnap Lincoln. He performed less and less frequently, and by late 1864 had gone into debt. Booth attended Lincolns second inaugural in early March with his secret fiancée Lucy Hale, the daughter of an abolitionist New Hampshire senator. In what would be his last performance, Booth appeared in front of a full house at Fords in The Apostate on March 28, 1865.
Less than a week later, Confederate forces evacuated Richmond, and within two weeks, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops. As Washington exploded in celebration, Booth attended another Lincoln speech on April 11, reacting strongly to Lincolns suggestion that he would pursue voting rights for blacks. Booth angrily told his co-conspirator, Davy Herold: Now, by God, Ill put him through. Three days later, at Fords Theatre, John Wilkes Booth made good on his word.
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Who Was John Wilkes Booth? At age 17, John Wilkes Booth made his acting debut. In the 1850s, he joined the Know-Nothing Party. During the Civil War, he was a Confederate secret agent.
- May 10, 1838
- April 26, 1865
But if John Wilkes Booth was not killed at Garrett’s barn, then what happened to him? In 1865, the government moved quickly to close the books on the Lincoln assassination. The trial of John Wilkes Booth’s co-conspirators resulted in four hangings and three life sentences.
Oct 27, 2020 · Not published until 1938, The Unlocked Book: John Wilkes Booth, a Sister’s Memoir is an attempt to humanize the assassin as Asia shared memories of a young boy who loved butterflies and recited ...
Nov 03, 2020 · Booth was a popular celebrity. By the 1860s, 26-year-old John Wilkes Booth had become one of most popular and recognizable stage actors of the day.
The gun John Wilkes Booth used to change American history was a .44-caliber pistol made by Henry Deringer of Philadelphia. Deringer likely did not expect the infamy that would later come with his creation. Booth chose the deringer pistol because of its size, and it was extremely lightweight.
Feb 19, 2020 · “The Escape of John Wilkes Booth” (working title) – 1x120min Two weeks after the assassination of President Lincoln, history records that Booth suffered a fatal gunshot wound while resisting ...