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    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: 2,089

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