Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Edwin Booth Autograph Letter Signed "Ever yours / Edwin" to "Dear Lorimer" (James Lorimer Graham), three pages, 4.5" x 5.5", n.p., n.d., [New York, mid-April 1865]. A poignant, anguished note penned, probably, within a few days of Abraham Lincoln's murder. Edwin Booth is the supreme American tragedian, theatre manager, founder of the celebrated Players Club in New York, and elder brother of John Wilkes Booth. "God bless you - that's all I can say. My heart is about crushed by this fearful blow - but God has given me a strength to bear it & I do not rebel. The deep & universal sympathy I have received from all quarters buoys me up with a hope & consolation which, of course, does not heal the frightful wound, but which lends me courage to look at the future calmly & manfully. Could I give but one little particle of this faith & tranquility to my poor, heart-broken mother I should be able to bear the very worst, but alas! she can only think of her boy - her darling, and catches at every straw that may give her hope that all this is but a hideous nightmare. See me some day. I am shut up in doors, & shall remain quiet for a few days. Give my kindest regards to Mrs. Graham who, I know, feels for me in this affliction." The addressee has docketed the letter on its otherwise blank last page: "In relation to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth - J.L.G." Graham, briefly U.S. Consul General to Italy, was best known to his contemporaries as a literary and artistic dilettante, conversationalist and collector. He was a close friend of Edwin Booth, who usually called him "Lorry". The editor William Dean Howells told a story that Edwin once innocently picked up a cast of a hand displayed on Graham's shelves; he asked Lorry whose hand it was, and softly, silently replaced it when Graham was obliged to reply "It's Lincoln's." Edwin Booth, already shy of the public, became even more reclusive after the assassination and never spoke of his lost brother or the tragedy he had enacted. He even burned John's possessions, despite the fact that they included theatrical costumes used by their beloved father, the eccentric genius Junius Brutus Booth. And yet, Edwin kept a portrait of John Wilkes in his bedroom until the day he died. An exceptional letter, perhaps the finest obtainable by a Booth, relative to the assassination. Toned with very few light stains; fine.

    Also includes signed card (4" x 3.5", "Edwin Booth/ Aug. 1881") and autograph note (4.75" x 4.75") signed "Edwin". Both are fine.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,086

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    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
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 June 7 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,583,038