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    Description

    Booth signed receipt directly related to his acting career

    John Wilkes Booth Receipt Signed
    "J. Wilkes Booth." 6" x 2.5", Boston; May 30, 1864. A signed receipt for $1.00 "in full engagement, at Boston Museum, and of all demands." The name of the payee has been clipped from the body of the receipt. This is not uncommon with documents related to Booth as, following Lincoln's assassination, many wanted to have no association with him. A great many documents signed by Booth were destroyed because people did not want to be indicted in the assassination conspiracy. This is the only document we have come across with content directly related to his career as an actor.

    John Wilkes Booth had just wrapped up a 30-night run of shows at the Boston Museum. His last performance was a bloody tragedy written by his father, entitled Ugolino. The story concludes with the main character murdering his enemies and his lover before committing suicide. The character's last line would prove to be somewhat prophetic: "What mov'd me to it? To murder him who sacrificed my peace? This was the crowning crime!" The character of Ugolino was also featured in Dante's Divine Comedy, in which he was cursed to the ninth circle of hell for betraying his country. This receipt is referenced in Right or Wrong, God Judge Me: The Writings of John Wilkes Booth, ed. J. Rhodehamel and L. Taper on page 29. From the Bret J. Formichi American Civil War Rarities Collection.

    Condition: Flattened folds, with an uneven lower edge. Light toning around the edges. There are a number of old tape reinforcements at the folds on verso, along with a strip of paper taped on verso to patch the clipped hole. Archival tape along the top edge on verso. Boldly signed.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,105

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