Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    John Wilkes Booth: Autographed Letter Signed. 5" x 8" letter on lined stationery, Philadelphia, October 9, 1861, boldly signed "John Wilkes Booth." 3pp. with one-line postscript on back of page one. Booth updates his Boston friend Joseph Simonds. In full: "I know you will forgive me for not answering yours of Sept. 13th till this distant date, but I am, at the best of times, the worst letter writer in the world, but for the last month I have been so closely occupied with so many business letters to answer, that I really had to forego the pleasure (and I assure you it is one,) of writing to you. However, my pen is now in hand to assure you that I have not forgotten you or any of my good friends in Boston. Remember me kindly to them all, the Bugbee's in particular, not forgetting our old friend Carruth. I had a letter from Davenport [theater manager and impresario E. L. Davenport]. He wants me some time in November, but I am sure we shall not be able to agree about terms, whereupon, I am about to ask you to render me a service, if any more of those curious members of society should trouble you about the possibility of my playing in Boston, let all those who are connected or who patronize the Museum understand that Davenport wants me bad, but that the engagement is not ratified yet, and that it's doubtful whether it will be, and others, if they should ask that I want to come to the Howard, & c. which is all true. It will be a little move to bring our Friend D--- to terms. He thinks me a novice, crazy to play in Boston and that he will get me for nothing, which to tell you the truth is nearly as much as he has offered me. More hereafter. Once more remember me to my friends, accepting the best wishes of Yours truly. P.S. I commence in Buffalo Oct 28th". Joseph H. Simonds (1839-1888) worked as a cashier at the Merchants Bank of Boston and met Booth in the summer of 1861 and went on to serve as his business manager. In 1864, Simonds quit his banking job and moved to Franklin, Pennsylvania to manage Booth's oil investments. In the 1865 trial, he was an important witness. A wonderful and insightful letter. Some scattered light stains of no consequence. Boldly signed at the bottom of page four. Ideal for display.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    24th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,337

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 November 15 Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search