Contemporary Account of Lincoln Assassination, Ex-Nicholson Collection.
3pp, 8.5" x 11", Lynchburg, VA, dated circa January 27, 1915. Two typed manuscript copies of a lecture delivered by Reverend Dr. Richard B. Garrett at the Virginia Baptist Encampment about the death of John Wilkes Booth. Garrett had been a young boy at the time of Booth's death at his father's farm. The eyewitness account reads in part:
"…The South was crushed. She had staked all and lost all. Did you ever see men cry like children? I have. Nearly thirty years have passed since then, and I was but a little boy, but I have not forgotten…for months and years could hear the booming of cannons as we went to sleep and the rattle of the muskets as we woke…almost every day heard the pitiful moaning of the wounded and saw the hurried burial…" Garrett then goes on to recount an entry made in Booth's diary about the events at Ford's theater. This reads: "'In jumping broke my leg. I passed all his pickets. Rode sixty miles that night with the bone of my leg tearing the flesh at every jump.'" Garrett then continues his narrative: "…The story of the next ten days has never been told. Many romances have been written about it, but they are so contradictory and some of them so manifestly mature that it is hard to sift out the real truth. All we know definitely is that Booth and Herold spent these ten days in the wood near the residence of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd on the bank of the Potomac in Maryland. It was brought out in the trial of Herold that Dr. Mudd had set the broken bones of Booth's leg, but whether they made themselves known to the Dr. or not is a question…I had a conservation with Dr. Mudd's brother some years ago in Baltimore, in which he stated to me that his brother did not know Booth."
Accompanying the two copies of the lecture is a cabinet card of Richard B. Garrett, as well as an Autograph Letter Signed by W.W. Hamilton, President of VA Baptist Encampment, in which he writes: "Dr. R.B. Garrett delivered his lecture on 'Wilkes Booth'…to a large and enthusiastic audience. The subject itself was most interesting, but Dr. Garrett gave to us such a vivid portrayal of the scenes of which he was an eyewitness and so cleared the facts of all false theories, that we can never forget the lecture…" From the Nicholson Collection.
The Garrett family was criticized by the public for their role in the events surrounding the assassination of President Lincoln, and they refrained from discussing the subject for a long period of time. However, Richard B. Garrett grew up, became a Baptist minister, and became one of the premier lecturers of the time on the subject of Lincoln's death and the events surrounding the eventual killing of John Wilkes Booth. Garrett had written to the Booth family in regards to the dying message Booth gave to his mother, and he used this correspondence with the family, along with numerous photographs and artifacts for his lectures. He toured around the United States and later published his lecture in the Confederate Veteran in 1921.
The two copies of the lecture have flattened folds and have light edge toning. Minor edge chipping in places, along with some small holes at the top edge. The letter from Hamilton has flattened folds and minor soiling. The photograph of Garret has worn corners and edges, minor imperfections to the image, and tape residue at the corners.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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