Associated Ads

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln manifested into countless front page headlines in newspapers across the country. From the details of the assassination, the hunt for Booth and his conspirators, and the trial that followed their arrests, nary a day went by between April 15th and July 7th, 1865, that aspects of Lincoln’s death were not “today’s top stories”. While significant and valuable text space was attributed to the big items of the assassination story, minor details had played out in the classified sections of various newspapers before the tragedy occurred. For a long time after the events as well, echos of the crime at Ford’s Theatre popped up in the most innocuous area of the newspaper – the advertisements. Here are a few examples of period advertisements associated with the death of Abraham Lincoln.

April 14th, 1865
Evening Star, Washington, D.C.
Advertisement for Lincoln at Our American Cousin 1 Advertisement for Lincoln at Our American Cousin 2

On page two of the Evening Star, the attendance of the Lincolns and General Grant is announced for that night’s performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre.

November 25, 1864
New York Herald, New York City, NY
Booth Shakespeare Benefit 1864 advertisement

The New York Herald announces that night’s performance of the brother’s Booth in their benefit towards the construction of a statue of Shakespeare in Central Park.

August 18, 1869
Sun, Baltimore, MD

After being released from prison for the final time, John Harrison Surratt, Jr. made his way down into South America for about six months. Upon his return to America he tried his hand at the mercantile life with his own business selling tobacco and other commodities like the “slightly damaged” tea above. This business did not last long and about 18 months later, John Surratt would be a teacher in Rockville, MD.

January 3, 1871
Richmond Whig, Richmond, VA

Attempting to cash in on his story and connection to John Wilkes Booth, John Surratt underwent a lecture tour. His lecturing was as short-lived as his mercantile business due to public outcry.

June 15, 1864
Evening Star, Washington, D.C.

Here’s a good challenge for you all. Can any of you tell me how this sale of a schooner by the federal government is involved in the story of Lincoln’s assassination. Show me your skills by replying in the comment section below.

The Last Lincoln Conspirator by Andrew Jampoler

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Associated Ads

  1. I have a copy of the New York Herald with the Booth ad.

  2. Gene

    Dave, do you have any info on what Surratt did in South America?

    • I’m afraid not, Gene. Andrew Jampoler’s book, The Last Lincoln Conspirator, which details John Surratt’s life, only has this to say about his time South America way:
      “John Surratt left the United States soon after he was freed and went to South America, where he stayed for about six months. Where he went, how and why, and who paid for his trips are mysteries. It is possible that he lived somewhere there among the small community of former Confederates who fled south, thinking like them to restart his life free of Yankee oversight.
      The trip might have been nothing more than an attempt to get away, but on his return he reported to friends that he was back, “much improved in health,” so Surratt might instead have left the country to avoid the winter of 1868-69, hoping that a change in climate would lead to renewed vigor. Travel was a common medical prescription in an age that offered not much else in the way of cures for an undiagnosed malaise.”

  3. In 1864 the “U.S.S. Vicksburg” stopped the schooner “Indian.” The captain of the “Indian” was John M. Celeste (John Celestine or Joao Celestino). I believe he was sent to prison as a slave trader. He was released, but was again arrested the next year as a suspect in Lincoln’s assassination. His photo has been misidentified. Finding no connection with the assassination of Lincoln, he was again released.

    • Nicely done, Mr. Norton. Celestino was mighty angry at the federal government and Secretary of State Seward, in particular, for the loss of his ship. Shortly before the assassination he was heard to threaten the Secretary’s life while drinking in a bar. After the attack went down, he became a prime suspect and was photographed and imprisoned as a main conspirator in the plot.

      The most detailed account of Captain Celestino is this wonderful article about him by Philip Van Doren Stern:

  4. I also notice that Ward Hill Lamon is mentioned….

  5. Never saw this alley, maybe the new garage covers it, who knows, t hat garage is a mess, you get into an elevator and it stops at a locked door!

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