The Lincoln Assassination Blog
in case you ain't seen it yet, the trailer
for The Conspirator
is now available.
interesting cast, and what appears a generally authentic look. not sure yet about the script, however, as it's clearly skewed to make Mary Surratt the "lead" character in the drama and Fred Aiken some kind of hero (hmmmmm).
withholding judgment, however. let's see what Robert Redford can do with it!
Due to my utter lack of a life, whenever I think about a person/idea/etc., one of my initial thoughts is: Hmm, I wonder how popular that is on Facebook?
John Wilkes Booth has 571 likes.
Edwin Booth has 29 likes. (Including me, lol.)
I find that difference to be a little depressing.
this community can't die ~ there's so much yet to do! i've got tales to tell, but in the meantime, here's a random bit of Lincolnalia to tide you all over.
from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum ~ a fan from Springfield had a custom Harley built to commemorate Lincoln’s 200th birthday. i am much amused by the nonchalant waxworks in contrast to this semi-creepy souped-up hog: Robert Todd looking totally anachronistic on the right and John Wilkes Booth slumping on the column at the left. and i think that's Frederick Douglass skulking back there as well?
ride on, Mr. President!
Anyone going this year?http://www.surratt.org/su_bert-2010.html
Spring Tour Dates:
April 10, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 24, 2010
Fall Tour Dates:
September 4, 2010
September 11, 2010
September 18, 2010
On the night of April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by the dashing young actor, John Wilkes Booth, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington City. While Lincoln lay dying, his assassin was making his escape into Southern Maryland. Over the next twelve days, Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, were tracked through the lower counties of Maryland and across the Potomac River into Viriginia. They were finally trapped at Garrett’s Farm near Bowling Green, Virginia, where Herold was taken prisonsor and Booth was shot and killed by federal troops. Herold was hanged along with Mary Surratt on July 7, 1865.
The Surratt Society sponsors bus tours each fall and spring along Booth’s escape route. Many of the same roads and houses used by Booth are still in existence and are visited on this twelve-hour excursion which is narrated by nationally-recognized authorities on the Lincoln assassination and John Wilkes Booth’s flight. An article, “Tracking an Assassin” by Sarah Mark, which appeared in the Washington Post on April 14, 1995, provides a comprehensive description of the various stops on the escape route tour. Also see Kieran McAuliffe’s John Wilkes Booth Escape Route History Map which provides a wealth of information about Booth's escape and the extraordinary hunt to capture him. Two excellent books have been published recently which deal with the assassin and his escape. These books are Michael Kauffman’s American Brutus and James L. Swanson’s Manhunt. The books and map are available from the Surratt House Gift Shop.
Persons interested in going on the next available tours must contact Surratt House Museum by phone ( 301-868-1121 301-868-1121 , fax: 301-868-8177), or mail (PO Box 427, Clinton, MD 20735) and ask to be placed on an advanced notice mailing list. In mid-January, we mail to all those interested in the spring tours. In mid-June we mail to all interested in the fall tours. Reservations are only accepted on a first-come basis as checks or money orders are received after this mass mailing. We do not take phone reservations, e-mail reservations, or credit cards. Please be advised that this is a very popular tour, and it is not unusual to have 200-300 names on the waiting list. We mail out the advanced notice in sequence – west of the Mississippi first, then east of the Mississippi, then the Washington-Baltimore region last – in order to assure some fairness with the U.S. Postal Service.
An information request form is provided for your convenience.
Names for the advanced notice mailing list for the next available tours are accepted throughout the year.
NOTE: NO reservations for the Spring tours will be accepted before mid-January.
NO reservations for the Fall tours will be accepted before mid-June.
The cost of the twelve-hour tour is $70 per person ($65 for members of the Surratt Society). Proceeds benefit the preservation of Surratt House Museum which was the first stop on Booth’s flight south.
I was on Facebook recently and found this link if anyone is interested or would find this helpful.
"Organize, share and discover research papers. Like iTunes™ for research papers. Mendeley is a free research management tool for desktop & web. Share papers, cite & create bibliographies in Word & OpenOffice, collaborate,search & annotate PDFs, sync across PCs."http://www.mendeley.com/
I wish I knew about this when I was working on my Masters in elementary education (need to go back and finish, had to stop cause too expensive :)). But now I'm into Edwin Booth and the Booth Family (just doing research on my own), I think this will help me organize all the stuff I've found so far.
Hopes for a bright future, Affection and Love, Peace for the heart, Prosperity that’s unlimited, Year-round fun…Wishing you a Happy New Year!
New York Times
Published: December 26, 1938
Mrs. Crossman, 77, Booth’s Daughter
Famous Tragedian’s Heir Dies in Home of Her Son at the Age of 77 Years
Mrs. Edwina Booth Crossman, only daughter of Edwin Booth, died suddenly yesterday at the age of 77 in the home of her son, Edwon Booth Grossman at the Holley Chambers, 33 Washington Square.
Although interested for many years in social and charitable affairs, Mrs. Crossman had not been active for some time before her death. Her children and grandchildren had carried on in her stead, perpetuating the memory of her illustrious father. At every event relating to the great tragedian his daughter always was remembered. When members of The Players, to whom Edwin Booth gave his dwellin at 16 Gramercy Park as a clubhouse, honored the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1933, Mrs. Crossman was unable to be present, but a bunch of red and white roses was sent to her through her grandchildren, who represented her on the occasion.
It was to Mrs. Crossman that Edwin Booth gave the first recording of his voice back in 1888. Members of the family were not certain yesterday whether these rare discs, of fragile construction, were still in existence. It is believed that these records registered many of Mr. Booth’s famous Shakesperean parts.
In 1895 Mrs. Crossman published a book of letters she had received from her father during the most interesting periods of his colorful life. These letters gave the reader a keen insight into his rare personality and genius.
Mrs. Crossman was born in Fulham, England, on Dec. 9, 1861 during one of her father’s stage tours there. Her family came to the United States early in her life. She was educated at the Sacred Heart Convent in Philadelphia.
On Mar. 15, 1885, she became Mrs. Grossman, her husband being a banker of New York and Boston. Two children were born to them, both of whom survive. They are Edwin Booth Grossman and Mrs. Mildred Booth Tilton of Pasadena, Calif. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Edwina Booth Waterbury and Edwin Booth Waterbury, children of Mrs. Tilton, and Lois Fellowes Grossman.
Mrs. Crossman changed her name from Grossman for patriotic reasons during the World War.
1796: Junius Brutus Booth is born on May 1, 1796, in London, England.
1813: Junius makes his professional debut as an actor on December 13, 1813.
1814: While on tour in Europe, Junius (18-years-old) persuades Marie Christine Adelaide Delannoy (22-years-old) to elope with him from her mother’s home in Brussels, Belgium, on November 25, 1814.
1815: Junius marries Marie Delannoy on May 8, 1815, in London, England. Their first child, a daughter named Amelia Portia Adelaide, is born on October 5, 1815. She dies in infancy.
1817: Only three years after his professional debut, Junius finds himself engaged in a bitter rivalry with the great English actor Edmund Kean who emerges triumphant.
1819: Richard Junius Booth, son of Junius and Marie Booth, is born January 21, 1819, in London, England.
1821: In early 1821, 24-year-old Junius “elopes” with the beautiful Mary Ann Holmes. They sail to the United States arriving in Norfolk, Virginia, on June 30, 1821. Their first child, Junius Brutus Jr., is born on December 22, 1821, in Charleston, South Carolina.
1822: Junius and Mary Ann arrive in Harford County in the summer of 1822 and by 1824 own their own 150 acre working farm where many of their children are born.
1823: Junius and Mary Ann’s oldest daughter Rosalie is born on July 5, 1823. Over the next 17 years eight more children are born.
1833: Three of the Booth children (Mary Ann, Frederick, Elizabeth) die of cholera in 1833 and are buried in a cemetery on the Booth farm. Edwin Thomas Booth is born on November 13, 1833.
1835: Asia Sydney Booth is born on November 20, 1835.
1835: Henry Byron Booth, son of Junius and Mary Ann, dies of smallpox on December 28, 1835, while the family is in England. He is 11-years-old at the time of his death.
1838: John Wilkes Booth is born on May 10, 1838.
1840: Joseph Adrian Booth is born on February 8, 1840.
1851: Junius and his first wife are divorced on April 18, 1851; Junius and Mary Ann are officially married on May 10, 1851.
1852: Junius Brutus Booth Sr. dies on a riverboat on the Ohio River while on tour on November 30, 1852, at the age of 56, of a mysterious illness that may have been caused by drinking unclean water from the river. By the time of his death, Junius is considered to be one of the greatest actors ever to appear on the American stage. He is buried in the Baltimore Cemetery, but his remains are moved to Green Mount Cemetery in 1869.
1853: Mary Ann Booth rents out the family’s Baltimore townhouse and moves to Tudor Hall with her four youngest children.
1857: After it becomes apparent that neither John Wilkes nor Joseph is cut out for farming, Mary Ann rents out the Booth farm in the summer of 1857. None of the Booths ever live on the property again.
1859: Asia Booth marries comic actor John Sleeper Clarke on April 28, 1859, in Baltimore, Maryland. They have six children, two of whom become actors.
1860: Edwin Booth marries former actress Mary Devlin on July 7, 1860. They have one daughter named Edwina born December 9, 1861. Mary dies in 1863 of consumption.
1864: Between November 26, 1864, and March 22, 1865, Edwin Booth appears in 100 consecutive performances of Hamlet at the Winter Garden theatre in New York. For nearly 30 years, Edwin continues to be one of the most popular actors in America.
1865: On the evening of April 14, 1865, well-known actor John Wilkes Booth shoots President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. In a failed attempt to escape, John Wilkes is killed in Virginia on April 26, 1865, after the barn in which he is hiding is surrounded by Federal troops. John Wilkes is 26 at the time of his death.
1869: Edwin marries former actress Mary McVicker on June 7, 1869. They have one child, Edgar, who dies at birth. In 1869, the Booth family cemetery plot is established in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore. Many (but not all) members of the family will eventually be buried there.
1881: Mary McVicker Booth dies on November 13, 1881, her husband Edwin’s 48th birthday.
1883: Junius Brutus Booth Jr. dies on September 16, 1883, in Manchester, Massachusetts, and is buried at Manchester’s Rosedale Cemetery. “June” had successful careers as a theatre manager and a hotel owner. He married several times and had six children.
1885: Mary Ann Holmes Booth dies in New York City on October 22, 1885, and is buried at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.
1888: Asia Booth Clarke dies in Bournemouth, England, on May 16, 1888, and is buried at Green Mount Cemetery. Asia had moved to England with her husband and children in 1868 and never returned to the United States during her lifetime.
1889: Rosalie Ann Booth dies on January 15, 1889, at her brother Joseph’s home in Long Branch, New Jersey, and is buried at Green Mount Cemetery. She never married.
1893: Edwin Booth dies at The Players in New York City on June 7, 1893. The Players is a gentleman’s club founded by Edwin in 1888 that still exists today. Edwin is buried next to his first wife in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Boston.
1902: Dr. Joseph Booth dies in New York City on February 26, 1902, and is buried at Green Mount Cemetery. Joseph married twice and had no surviving children.
I found this program cover by Footlights La in Facebook.
HAMLET SHUT UP opens November 19, 2009 at Sacred Fools Theater Company and runs through December 19, 2009
In this photo: Footlights La (photos)
St. Columba's Chapel
55 Vaucluse Avenue
Middletown, RI 02842
"In the rear of the church, high up in the wall, is a peculiar yet mesmerizing window depicting a woman holding a dove to her breast. She stands in a brilliant blue niche constructed of hundreds of tiny rectangular pieces of tile-like pieces of glass. Around the niche is golden architecture. Although the artist and manufacturer of this window are unknown, the history of its donor is quite famous: this lovely window is dedicated to the first wife of the illustrious 19th century actor, Edwin Booth, whose fame has been eclipsed in our century by the notoriety of his brother, John Wilkes Booth, assassin of Abraham Lincoln. Edwin Booth and his daughter, Edwina, summered in the Newport area, building a house just down the street from the chapel. They were involved with the construction of the church from the beginning and in 1885 donated this window - the first in the building - in memory of Edwina's mother, Mary Devlin, who died in 1865."http://www.jlsloan.com/columba.htm
- The website incorrectly dated Mary's year of death. She died in 1863, not 1865.
I finally found something on Edwina Booth's husband, Ignatius Grossman. Unfortunately no photos of Ignatius I've been able to find, yet.
Ignatius Booth Grossman (Crossman)
Born: Jun. 6, 1852, Hungary
Death: Sep. 6, 1920, New York
According to the book, Beyond The Garden Gate By Norma H. Mandel, written on Celia Laighton Thaxter, Ignatius Grossman came to live with the Thaxter's family in 1868 at the age of 15 years old from Hungary. Celia Laighton Thaxter was an author, painter, gardener, and one of the most popular New England poets of the late nineteenth century. Her nonfiction works, An Island Garden and Among the Isles of Shoals, continue to engage readers; "her prose," Smithsonian Magazine has said, "has a timeless quality that makes delightful reading today."
Here's an exerpt from this book: http://books.google.com/books?id=zVLKse4oepoC&pg=PA69&dq=ignatius+grossman&lr=#v=onepage&q=ignatius%20grossman&f=false
"As the year 1868 began, Thaxter summarized her family life to her friend Mary Lawson:
…Mr. Thaxter has not been well this winter, has suffered from rheumatism, and rheumatism in the chest, which isn’t a good place to have it. He declares he never will spend another winter in this climate. I have an addition to my family in the shape of a young Hungarian by the name of Igantius Grossman, about fifteen years old. We have taken him for good. He is a lovely boy and a great comfort…The Thaxter boys are as rampageous as usual. Karl and Ignatius go to grammar school together. Mr. Thaxter teaches John and Lony and is fitting John for High School…
The reference to Ignatius Grossman was a positive note. It is a mystery as to where Levi and Celia might have found this young Hungarian boy, but possibly he was among the immigrant orphans who came to America and were allowed to be adopted upon their arrival. Eventually Ignatius went to college, married Edwina Booth, daughter of actor Edwin Booth, and moved to New York. But he continued to keep in touch with Celia.
In 1891 she wrote to Annie: Ignatius and Edwina were coming to Portsmouth from Jackson Oct. 12th to see me, but alas I fear I shall not get there in time…"
On May 16, 1885, Ignatius married Edwina Booth, daughter of 19th century Shakesperian actor Edwin Booth. They had two children: Edwin Booth Grossman, an artist, and Mildred Booth Grossman. During World War 1, Edwina and Ignatius changed their last name to Crossman for patriotic reasons.
* Also from "Letters of Celia Thaxter," found some correspondences from Celia to Ignatius: http://www.public.coe.edu/~theller/soj/let2soj/thaxter.html
1) To Ignatius Grossman. Shoals, June 4, 1893.
Do write and tell me about yourselves. I hear Mr. Booth is better, at least the newspapers say so, and that he is going with you to Narragansett Pier. Alas, poor man! why cannot Fortune free him from his captivity of weakness and discomfort, if not of pain, and the worn-out body be dropped for a fresh and happy one! Oh, I trust, when my time comes, that I may be allowed to go in a moment. Death is not cruel, but life under such circumstances is terrible; the long suffering with no hope of recovery is the misery, not the touch of death that opens the doors into a fresh, new world. Well, I want to know about it all, where you are and how it is with you beloved four, parents and children dear, as well as with the poor grandfather. Do write to me. I only hope all is well with you.
2) To Ignatius Grossman. Portsmouth, November 24, 1893.
I am so delighted to hear of Edwina's "new departure," as it were; nothing could be better than that she should do just this thing. No one could do it so well, and I am sure it will be the most interesting book imaginable, and so valuable, not only to the present age, but for time to come. I am glad she is doing it, -- it is wise and right and fitting that she should. She will reap a reward in the gratitude of the world, and in the satisfaction of doing for her wonderful father what no one else could do, and of rendering full justice to his genius and his most marvelous powers, and all the beauty of his character, which no one knows so well as his dear, only child. I am perfectly delighted that she is doing it, I repeat, and congratulate her and you both with utmost love.
3) To Ignatius Grossman. Portsmouth, January 19, 1894.
How gladly, dear Ignatius, would I send you "Lilliput Levee," if I only had it here! It is out at the Shoals, and might as well be in Kamtschatka for any possibility of getting at it. I only bring a very few books in here, and I will try hard and see if I can't get it for you in Boston. Dear Ignatius, if you want the loveliest thing for your children, get "Parables from Nature," by Mrs. Alfred Gatty, and read "Not lost, but gone before," to your dear children. The heavenliest thing, and as good for you as them. There is an illustrated edition, and do get it right off; you and Edwina will love it. Mrs. Gatty was the mother of Mrs. Juliana Horatio Ewing, whose books for children are world-famous, -- "Jackanapes," and "Lob-lie-by-the-Fire," and "Daddy Darwin's Dovecote," etc. If you haven't all her things, get them by all means at once! But "Parables from Nature" you must have, illustrated edition. Mrs. Laura Howe Richards's "Nursery Rhymes" for children are so good! I dare say you have them, -- "Little John Bottlejohn," etc.; capital for very little ones.
* Lastly court case I came across in the New York supplement, Volume 74 By New York (State). Supreme Court, New York (State). Superior Court (New York), West Publishing Company, New York (State). Court of Appeals: http://books.google.com/books?id=tNc7AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA878&dq=ignatius+grossman&lr=#v=onepage&q=ignatius%20grossman&f=false
BACON v GROSSMAN
(Supreme Court Special Term New York County February 1902)
PERSONAL GUARANTY - ASSIGNMENT = EFFECT
A domestic corporation covenanting to dissolve a foreign corporation and distribute the assets agreed with the stockholders of the foreign corporation to guaranty. If they did not receive in liquidation $65 a share, to make up the difference, not exceeding $10; such stockholders promising to account to it for all the money received in liquidation in excess of such price. Held an agreement personal to the signers, and, where a party to the agreement transferred his stock subject to it, the guaranty of the domestic corporation did not pass to the transferee, and the stockholder is entitled to retain a payment under the guaranty.
Action by Nathaniel T Bacon against Ignatius R Grossman for money had and received. Complaint dismissed. Motion for new trial denied.
Selden Bacon, for plaintiff.
GJ Sproull, for defendant.
Has anyone seen any photos of Edwin Booth and Mary Devlin Booth together? I have not found any. I've only seen photos of him with his second wife.
Thanks for your assistance.
Friday, November 20, 2009, will be Asia Booth Clarke's 174th birthday. Asia was the Booth family historian and a gifted writer. We owe much of what we know about her family to Asia.http://spiritsoftudorhall.blogspot.com/
In case I don't get a chance to post here tomorrow, I wanted to give a big shout out to the one and only EDWIN BOOTH. His birthday is tomorrow, Nov. 13. He will be 176 years old.
For many years, some people have believed John Wilkes Booth was not killed in Virginia but escaped and headed west. The new Discovery Channel program Ghost Lab
will explore this theory in an upcoming invesigation in Enid, Oklahoma.
According to the Ghost Lab
website: "The Ghost Lab team investigates two locations rumored to be haunted by the ghost of John Wilkes Booth: a historic opera house in Texas and a furniture store in Oklahoma."
Booth family members Joanne Hulme and her sister Suzanne Mitchell Kline will appear on the show. Joanne and Suzanne are direct descendants of Junius Brutus Booth Sr.'s sister Jane Booth Mitchell. In addition, one of Jane's granddaughters, Cora Mitchell (Joanne and Suzanne's grand aunt), married Junius Brutus and Mary Ann Booth's youngest son, Joseph.According to the Ghost Lab website, the episode will air on the Discovery Channel on Tuesday, November, 10, 2009, at 10:00 p.m. EST and again on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, at 1:00 a.m. EST.
The episode may also eventually be available for viewing online via the Ghost Lab
site once it has aired on cable. Info about online viewing will appear here as soon as it's available.
For more information about Ghost Lab
and the upcoming episode check out these links:http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/ghost-lab/ghost-lab.htmlhttp://www.enidnews.com/localnews/local_story_240002434.html?keyword=topstory
a day late with this one, but i thought, as probably one of the most innocent of the condemned, he deserves a consideration.
My sister sent me a recent Variety
article this morning:
James McAvoy and Robin Wright Penn are set to star in the Robert Redford-directed "The Conspirator," the period drama based on true events following the assassination of President Lincoln.
Wright Penn will play Mary Surratt, the only woman among a group charged with conspiring to kill the president. McAvoy will play Frederick Aiken, an idealistic young war hero who reluctantly defends Surratt and in the process comes to believe she is innocent.
I'm totally psyched, I hope this actually happens!
I just finished watching the new season of Ghost Hunters and lo and behold....next week's episode is going to feature Samule Mudd's house and see if they encounter John Wilkes Booth's ghost. Ghost Hunter is on the SyFy network, Wednesday. The episode is called "I am not guilty." Check your local listings.
Episode - 8/26 SyFy
Maryland's Samuel Mudd House; Virginia's Edgewood Plantation is the former home of presidents William Henry and Benjamin Harrison.
~ but if it wasn't in such incredibly bad taste, i would totally wear this shirt:Han wasn't the only one
i am still laughing at this.
Leave a phone message for John Wilkes Booth
THE JOHN WILKES PHONE BOOTHcall (615) JW-BOOTH to leave a message.
(that is +1 615 592 6684 from outside the US.)
it will then appear here. there may be a short delay.
listen to the lastest message left by a caller in the (650) area roughly 1 week ago:
or listen to all 32 messages on shuffle:
"...right or wrong,
God judge me, not man."
in case you haven't seen it, this might be of interest: Junius hates Jackson
History Detectives investigates a letter which indicates that thirty years before John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln, Booth’s father threatened to kill another sitting president, Andrew Jackson.
The letter to Jackson reads, “You damn’d old scoundrel… …I will cut your throat whilst you are sleeping.” It’s signed “Junius Brutus Booth.” The writer insists Jackson pardon two men who were sentenced to death. Why did the fate of these two men enrage such fury?
Was the Booth letter a hoax? Or does assassination run in the Booth blood?
you can download the transcription at the PBS site.
Today Edwin Thomas Booth died today, June 7, 1893 at 1:17am at The Players. He is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass.
Interestingly, this date was also when he and Mary McVicker (another actress, his first wife was also an actress) were married in 1869. The second wife was mentally unstable and made Edwin's life a living hell. She died on Edwin's 48th birthday, Nov. 13, 1881.
Just finished reading the following books:
"Booth's Daughter" by Raymond Wemmlinger: "Edwina Booth, niece of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth and fianc to the son of architect Calvert Vaux, must leave America with her father when President Garfield is assassinated, forcing her to choose between her father and the man she loves."
"The letters and notebooks of Mary Devlin Booth" by Mary Devlin Booth, edited by L. Terry Oggel: This is the first complete edition of the letters and notebooks of actress Mary Devlin, Edwin Booth's first wife, and is the first reference of its kind in nineteenth-century American theatre scholarship. These documents provide a fascinating perspective on Booth, his life, and the development of his career, and include new materials recently uncovered through the editor's research. The volume is also a valuable guide to biograhical information about Booth's father and brother (John Wilkes Booth), and to studies of Mary Devlin Booth and her influence on her husband. In addition, it identifies sources that reflect certain mid-nineteenth-century attitudes and provides a clearer picture of the conventional role wives had in their husband's careers during that period.
If you are looking for used books at a good price, check out www.abebooks.com.
Yeah, that's right. LINCOLN AND BOOTH: THE MUSICAL is not just a thing of my dreams, it is real! And Terry Alford reviewed it!
"Lincoln and Booth" retells the assassination story in an original two-act musical. History's whole gang is assembled for this event. There's Lincoln, Booth, Mrs. Surratt, Dr. Mudd, Atzerodt, Spangler, Nellie Starr, Stanton, Harry Clay Ford, Lt. Doherty, even Peanuts John. Fearing the worst, most historians grimace when the curtain parts on movies or stage productions about these characters. But there's nothing too amiss here. Richard Chiarappa, who wrote the book, music, and lyrics, has been fair to the facts. He wisely sought historical assistance from James 0. Hall, Laurie Verge, and Joan Chaconas, and viewers may rest assured the historical elements of the play are satisfactory.
"Good-bye," a trio sung by Booth, Nellie Star, and Lucy (Hale), is a haunting favorite among the new music. It had this reviewer hitting the rewind button several times for reprises.
If any of you have heard of this or know where I can get a copy, please let me know!
I was on Amazon earlier today and followed a link to this book
I was surprised, when I thought about it, that I had never heard of anybody trying the Asia angle before. I mean, she is a pretty lady with a mean husband in the nineteenth century, isn't that every historical novelist's perfect protagonist? And she was even actually a writer!
The Amazon reviews didn't look too bad, so I was actually thinking of maybe ILLing this book, but then I found a sample excerpt online
. Sadly, Singer's book is full of really bad, really obvious
tropes. Asia's husband, John Sleeper Clarke, seems to have been merely caricatured as The Bad Husband. Asia is self-conscious about her looks (did the author ever see her photos?? and personally, I would have put her down as the vain
type, myself), and she wishes she were a man. Asia has a bad-ass but beautiful black sidekick woman who hides guns on herself and is completely loving and loyal. The bad guys (read, gov't soldiers
), in contrast to Asia,
spend pretty much all their talking time using racist language against Asia's beautiful black sidekick, so that we will dislike them automatically. (Of course this is all despite the fact that the real
Asia used racially offensive language, in her real
books, pretty much whenever she felt like.) The author quotes Shakespeare almost every page. Here is a particularly bad excerpt:
When John Wilkes Booth was small and in my stormy keep, I fused us, so alike in face and form, into one muddle of a being. He was beautiful always. I was hat-rack thin with hair like a Hottentot's and a longing to be him as deep and wide as any river I ever did see. "You'll teach him the verses, Asia, and make him the greatest Booth of them all," my father said. "Poor Hamlet weeps and sighs in your head, that I know," he added, forbidding me to ever set foot on a stage.
So I guess this is one that I won't be seeking out, at least not right away. I'm kind of disappointed, because--all joking aside--I think a book that was really about Asia would be a wonderful read. I'd love to see somebody's fictional take on Asia's childhood tantrums, or her ovbiously complicated relationship with Sleeper--but I don't think what I'm looking for is in this book.
Today is the anniversary of John Wilkes Booth's death, so it's kind of fitting that a particular book I ordered from the library came in today. It is called Famous Assassinations of History: From Philip of Macedon, 336 B.C., to Alexander of Servia, A.D. 1903
, by Francis Johnson. Johnson wrote the book in the same year as the last entry (1903), and it is completely delightful! Moreover, I thought Johnson's description of Philip's assassination sounded oddly familiar...
It was the supreme moment of his pride and happiness: but it was also his last. The noblemen and courtiers had already disappeared in the building. The body-guard, obediant to the King's orders, remained behind. Just at the moment when the King stepped forward, alone, under the gateway of the theatre, a man sprang from a side corridor, thrust a sharp sword into his side, and hurried off as the royal victim reeled and fell. In the tremendous confusion which arose, the assassin came very near to making his escape. He ran toward a swift horse which was kept in readiness for him by friends who evidently knew of the murder and were in the plot; and, dazed as the people were who witnessed the assassination, he would probably have escaped, had not his sandal caught in a vine-stock and caused him to fall, which gave some of his pursuers time to lay their hands on him before he could get up. In their rage, they killed him with their spears and tore him to pieces.
The surroundings and execution of the plot bear a strong resemblance to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. In both cases there was an individual murderer, the scene was a theatre, the act was done with incredible audacity in the presence of a large concourse of people, and the murderer was crippled by a misstep after the fatal blow.
Of course I'm not actually impressed with the shocking similarities--the two murders only seem similar because Johnson leaves a lot
of significant information out. Pausanias and John Wilkes Booth don't have anything in common, so far as I know, and they certainly had very
different murder motives! But I'm sure you all have encountered some variant or other of that obnoxious Lincoln/Kennedy coincidence list
I think it's charming that this kind of "let's find the coincidences! how significant!" game was being played well
before Kennedy had even been born, and with even more obviously irrelevant parallels!
A HORATIAN ODE.
Not as when some great Captain falls
In battle, where his country calls,
Beyond the struggling lines
That push his dread designs
To doom, by some stray ball struck dead :
Or, in the last charge, at the head
Of his determined men,
Who must be victors then.
Nor as when sink the civic great,
The safer pillars of the State,
Whose calm, mature, wise words
Suppress the need of swords.
With no such tears as e'er were shed
Above the noblest of our dead
Do we to-day deplore
The Man that is no more.( Here's the rest of the poemCollapse )
This poem was published in 1871 by Richard Henry Stoddard. He was a poet who lived (I think) in New York, and for a few years during the early 1860s he was very good friends with Edwin and Mary Devlin Booth. I think this is a pretty terrible poem--like a lot of Stoddard's work, it is simply too long! but the way he describes Lincoln, and the funeral train--it's so interesting, which pieces of propaganda he has swallowed.
And, since I really am a fan of Stoddard, even though he is sometimes (see above) embarrassing, here is some good news! The Michigan Historical Reprint Series has published a shiny new copy of The Poems of Richard Henry Stoddard! This includes a huge number of poems, from collections published throughout his life, and including his splendid narrative poem, The King's Bell. Go check it out!
Happy Birthday John Surratt!
We all have our own opinions of "Mr. S--tt,"
but since it is his birthday I will be nice. So here is a fond description of the man from a Very Reliable Source, his friend Louis Weichmann:
Among my earliest callers [after taking residence in Washington City] was John H. Surratt, whom I had not seen since leaving college. He was cordially received, for I was glad to see him. His appearance and manner had considerably changed since his departure from college. He was now more a man of the world, had a brusquer air, and was much bronzed.
We chatted gaily about old times and associates at the college. He was always treated kindly when he came to see me, nor can I complain of a want of civility on his part. There never was the slightest jar between us, and during the entire period of our acquaintance we never quarreled once. So far as one man can judge another, he was a young man of clean habits, upright and moral, and was entirely free of small vices, as smoking, drinking, and chewing.
--Louis J. Weichmann, A True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln & of the Conspiracy of 1865
(Go buy yourselves a shirt to celebrate!)
check this out
sadly, seymour died shortly after this episode, in part, because of the fall mentioned at the start of the clip.
Suddenly today I felt more motivated than usual to actually figure out Weichmann's War Dept. friend Mr. Gleason (by which I really mean, learn more anecdotes so I can tell unflattering stories about him). To this purpose, does anybody know where I should go to find a decent book on 19th cent. Freemasonry? (He's listed as a member in several of their Massachussetts newsletters, I can try to dig up the actual reference if anybody's interested.)
My quick search on Amazon proves what I had already guessed--that there are a ton of books out there along the lines of "Freemasonry For Dummies!" and I would rather not have to sift through it all if I don't have to. So if any of you have already looked into this, I would love suggestions!
i posted a review of Steers' Hartranft letterbook book on my own lj. follow the fake lj cut to read it
i flocked it because i feel like it's kinda vitriolic (and i even tried to show restraint). if you are not on my flist, feel free to friend me (just let me know you came to the link through this group!)
: o p