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    Excessively Rare Boston Corbett Autograph Letter Signed, one page, 5.5" x 8.25", Lincoln Barracks, Washington, D.C., May 11, 1865 to a Mr. Harrington. On April 26, 1865, roughly two weeks before lifting his pen to write this letter, Sergeant Boston Corbett of the 16th New York Cavalry raised his Colt revolver to shoot John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln's infamous assassin was cornered in a burning tobacco barn on the Virginia farm of Richard Garrett. Ignoring orders to take Booth alive, the over-zealous Corbett fatally wounded the fugitive with the justification that "God Almighty directed me." The contents of this highly important letter recall the event in Corbett's own words. It reads in full, "Dear Sir In answer to your request I would say that Booth was shot on the morning of the 26th of April 1865 near Port Royal, Virginia at which place we crossed the Rappahannock in Pursuit. He lived but a short time after he was shot, perhaps 3 hours, and at or about seven o'clock that morning he died. Yours Truly,". Corbett was exonerated from any wrong-doing by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and, indeed, was given a reward of some $1600 for his actions. Although somewhat of a national hero for a short time, Boston Corbett was simply too weird for the American public to worship. Self-castrated in 1858 so as to curb his lusts, Lincoln's avenger was a temperamental religious fanatic with a tendency towards violent gunplay whenever God was, in his opinion, mocked. Corbett's post-war antics finally landed him in the Topeka Asylum for the Insane. However, he escaped in 1888 and shortly thereafter vanished from the historical record. The fabulous letter offered here concerns the singular event that decided Corbett's place in American history and its importance cannot be overstated. Minor stains and two horizontal creases, else bold ink on thick, stable paper. Fine condition.

    Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2006
    1st-2nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,287

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