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    Description

    Thomas A. Jones, Chief Agent of the Confederate Secret Service in Maryland, Autograph Manuscript Signed "T A Jones". One page, 5" x 8", n.p., n.d. [1890's?], on lined paper. A remarkable statement, likely written to supply an autograph, perhaps when Jones, who aided the escape of John Wilkes Booth, briefly appeared at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The statement quietly underscores the staunch honor and loyalty in which Jones took surpassing pride: "Captn. Williams offered the reward on Tuesday 18th of April 1865 in Brawner's Hotel in Port Tobacco, Md., and on the 22d of April 1865 at night I took Booth and Herold to a point on the Potomac River, known as Den'ts Meadow, in Charles County, Md. and from thence landed them on a point at the mouth of Machodoc Creek, in King George County, Va." Jones had risked his life as a Confederate agent, spent time as a northern prisoner "on suspicion", and been impoverished by the war, hence this manuscript's pointed reference to the reward for John Wilkes Booth. Capt. William Williams, one of the detectives scouring the Port Tobacco area under the direction of Maj. James R. O'Beirne, met Jones in the barroom of the Brawner Hotel and declared "I will give one hundred thousand dollars to any one who will give me the information that will lead to Booth's capture", to which he incorruptible Jones replied simply, "That is a large sum of money and ought to get him if money can do it." Jones wrote years later that if he had sold out Booth, the actor's "pale face . . . would have haunted me to my grave." Contains mounting remnants on verso; near fine.

    Provenance
    : likely Fostell, lot 76.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,227

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