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    Laura Keene Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 5" x 8", no place, 14 January 1860, to an unnamed gentleman. Keene was an English-born actress/manager and star of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre on the night of Lincoln's assassination. She was a shrewd businesswoman who toured with her own company and owned rights to Our American Cousin. In this letter she mentions two other plays, declining to "part with The Wife's Secret at present. For The Unequal Match would you be willing to pay 200 dollars. You might then have a copy, but am not quite sure my agent has not sold it to Mrs. Wood." Keene knew the Booth brothers and had acted with Edwin. After Lincoln was shot she carried water to the president's box, cradled his head in her lap while Dr. Leale probed for the fatal bullet, and led the way when he was carried out of the theatre. With a hand-tinted, vignetted bust carte de visite photo of Keene by Fredericks, New York (somewhat faded; mounting traces on verso). The lower part of the letter has some adhesive remains, though the text is not affected. Fine.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
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