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    Description

    Lincoln Assassination: Extensive Eyewitness Account. This is an account of the assassination written by Treasury Department employee Samuel I. Koontz on eight single sheets of 8" x 10" writing paper. The first sheet is "Treasury Department, Office of Internal Revenue" letterhead, dated April 24, 1865. Writing to a friend (blacksmith William Weaver of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania), Koontz relates "the truth about this terrible tragedy". In part: "...I was present at the theater and saw it all, in fact I was only about 15 ft. from the President when he was shot... Lincoln when he came in, had a pleasant smile for all, they cheered him, and the band struck up 'Hail Columbia' [actually "Hail to the Chief"]... Booth went through the door of the box, told the man who was Lincolns servant at the door, that Lincoln had sent for him. A number of persons saw him go in, but no one supposed that he was going to kill the President. In less than a minute after he went in, I heard the report of the pistol & saw him jump out of the front of the box, down upon the stage, which was at least 12 ft. brandishing a large dagger knife, and running across the stage exclaiming, 'Sic Semper Tyrannis'... Just as he leapt from the box, all was quiet, no one knew at first what was the matter, then at the second thought, the whole audience sprung to their feet & shouted 'Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!' Miss Harris exclaimed 'The President's shot..' One man I believe ran after Booth but he had no pistol. He saw him jump on a horse which he had ready, behind the theater... I immediately rushed into the box, when Miss Harris exclaimed, 'For God's sake, go for a surgeon!' I immediately run up the street, got Dr. Lieberman up who was soon present, together with other distinguished surgeons, but alas! The assassin had done his crime..." There are 2 ½ pages that deal with the assassination. The balance of the letter reports, second-hand, the attempt to assassinate Seward, etc. "Booth I am sorry to say has not yet been caught. He is still at large just as likely as not skulking about Pennsylvania, perhaps in York County. If you see anything of him I wish you would have him put into the York or Gettysburg jail, then I shall see to it that in less than 5 days you shall have two hundred thousand dollars... Booth is just as likely to be in York County as anywhere else... The government has had 500 pictures taken of Booth and are sending them over the country... On Tuesday the corpse could be seen by all at the White House and on Wednesday the largest funeral the world has ever known took place here. It took over 2 hours for the procession to pass... every word I have told you is true & what I have omitted is not worth knowing..." Partial separation at horizontal folds, complete separation at horizontal fold on first page repaired with archival tape. Light discoloration and staining. Lot 320 in Brian Riba's June 17, 1989 auction.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    24th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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